Many developing countries now grapple with the problem of unemployment. The unemployment rate among the youth is particularly higher than other demographic segments – especially in developing economies. Interestingly, the cities in many developing economies with high rates of youth unemployment also battle high rates of urban crime. The purpose of this study was to establish how youth unemployment influences crime rates in Dutsin-Ma local government Area, with the aim of identifying strategies to mitigate crime among the youth. The study objectives were to explore the extent that youth unemployment influences the crime rates in Dutsin-Ma, establish the prevalence of youth unemployment, examine the factors that cause youth unemployment, determine the connection between youth unemployment and high crime rates, and to identify the best strategy to mitigate the high number of crime rates in Dutsin-Ma. The foundational framework for this study is Merton’s (1938) Strain theory which argues that a discord between people’s goals and means results in criminality. Merton (1938) believes that people hold a universal social goal of attaining material wealth and success; and that there is inequality in achieving these goals – leading to strain. Individual propensity to commit crime can also be explained through Albert Bandura’s social learning theory. According to this theory, people learn to commit crime from one another by modelling their behavior, imitating them, or making observations. They look at the rewards and punishments brought by crime, and make a decision to either accept crime and pursue it for the rewards, or shun it to avoid the punishments. The research design involved a descriptive survey on a sample of 125 urban youth (both male and females) between the ages of 18- 35 years. Self-administered questionnaires were also used to collect data. The target population for this study was the urban youth (both male and females) between the ages of 18- 35 years who are living in Dutsin-Ma. Purposive sampling technique was used in this study with a non- probability design. This sampling method was applied to select youths aged 18- 35 years in Dutsin-Ma local government Area. The sample size used for this study was 125 people who were selected from urban youth in Dutsin-Ma. The two research tools used to obtain primary data were an interview guide and a questionnaire. During data analysis, quantitative data obtained from the questionnaires was analyzed by the use of descriptive statistics which included cross-tabulations, percentages frequencies and aided by the Statistical Program for Social Sciences (SPSS). The findings indicate that youth unemployment could influence the rates of crime in Dutsin-Ma. These findings are premised on the notion that youth unemployment forces people to use illegal means to achieve societal expectations. The study concludes that youths are attracted to criminal activities because of poverty. Job creation can therefore help decrease criminal activities among the youth. Education is one of the strategies that can help push youth away from criminal activities and create jobs for themselves. The study further recommends that the government could develop an integrated information system which captures the bio-data of all youth who are unemployed in Nigeria and make deliberate move to help them create employment.

This chapter introduces the background details of this research project. The chapter sections include; background of the study, statement of the problem, general and specific objectives of the study, research questions, significance and justification of the study, scope and limitations of the study. These elements describe the foundational aspects of the research. This research project explored youth unemployment and its influences on criminality in Dutsin-Ma local government Area, Nigeria.

Background of the Study
Unemployment is a multi-dimensional term which has been given different definitions by different scholars. According to Okafor (2011), unemployment explains the state in which one does not have a job. Unemployment is a complex problem which has become a global trend. Statistics show that the youths are the ones who have been mainly affected. According to the UN (2013), the rate at which youths are unemployed is very high. In the year 2008 for example, the unemployment rate was

11.8 percent, in 2009 the rate went up to 12.7 percent and in 2010 about 75.8 million youth were unemployed globally.

According to Buonanno and Montolio (2008), crime and unemployment go hand in hand. Poverty may lead some other people to seek unlawful alternatives to earn a living by indulging in a life of crime. Unemployment creates adverse provocations from social interactions since an individual is free from social places like workplaces and do not get moral judgment from colleague’s thereby promoting idleness.

In some countries, the governments have taken the initiative of reducing the effects of unemployment. These initiatives are aimed at encouraging the unemployed youths not to engage in criminal activities. The main measures are welfare benefits.

Most developed countries require job seekers to utilize the re-employment services that comprise programs on how to apply for jobs, mandatory meetings with caseworkers and obligatory training in courses that increase chances of obtaining employment (Plesca & Smith, 2008). The active labor market programs enable many unemployed youth to conduct successful job-seeking while they do their day to day activities and ensure they are eligible to receiving welfare benefits. Despite the implementation of the said strategies, crime rates still continue to increase.

Unemployment among the youth has unfortunately become a problem bothering many parts of the world. For instance, in the UK, the unemployment rate has risen intensely to a level that having a degree is not an advantage anymore compared to how it was in the earlier days where having higher qualifications was an advantage in having more opportunities in getting into professional jobs and fulfilling careers.

A study conducted by Andreson (2013), determined how the state of the economy relates to criminality in Canadian provinces. Andreson (2013) used GDP figures to represent the Canadian state of economy alongside statistical figures on low income and unemployment. His findings showed that the state of the economy has a direct connection to crime in Canadian provinces. The findings also reflected that economic hardships and the level of inequality motivated most youths to engage in crime. In a study done by Raphael and Winter (2001) in the US, they evaluated whether there was any positive correlation between unemployment and criminality. Their study found a positive correlation between unemployment and criminality in the United States.

Omboto, Ondiek, Odera and Oyugi (2012), conducted a study to determine the factors that influenced juvenile delinquency and youth criminality in Nigeria. They found out that youth unemployment had a great impact on crime. They also found out that the high rate of urbanization in Nigeria has reduced the ability of the government to provide adequately for the urban population in terms of infrastructures and schooling facilities. Tume(2010), also studied the influential factors that were spurring urban criminality in Nakuru town, Nigeria and found out that youth unemployment contributed greatly to criminal activities. Adino (2010), did an exploratory study to determine the predisposition factors for violence in Dutsin-Ma slum. They found out that economic deprivation was a key predisposition factors for violence in the slum.

According to Aderson and Signe (2008), more than 900,000 youths are out of work and over 250,000 remain unemployed for over a year. Young people have low chances of getting even casual jobs with low pay. This makes many to lack motivation when they are studying since they already know how difficult it is to get jobs.

The universities and colleges should train and equip students with entrepreneurship skills to reduce youth involvement in crime. As noted by Lin (2007), when graduates search for jobs without success, they become desperate. They also look for other means of making money hence resulting to illegal activities such as political violence, drug dealing, kidnapping, prostitution, armed robbery, and destitution among other crimes.

According to ILO (2016), in recent years, unemployment rate has risen in India. In 2014, ILO estimated that the rate of unemployment in India was 3.8percent. The report also stated that unemployment has both social and financial impacts. Examples of social impacts are violence, theft among other crimes. This report, therefore, informs this study that crime rates are impacted by youth unemployment.

Although many developed countries have implemented policies on employment creation, it has not shown much impact as the number of available jobs has a relatively small ratio when compared to the number of job seekers. According to a report by the NBS (2010), the rate of unemployment in Nigeria in 2000 showed that there were 13.1%, youth who were unemployed. In 2001, the rate was 13.6%, in 2004, it was 12.6 %, in 2005, it was 11.9%, in 2006, it was 13.7% while in 2009, it was 19.4%. According to the data, unemployed youths in the bracket of 15 and 24 were 41.6% while 17% were those aged between 25 and 44. Under education, the figures were 14.8%, for those with primary education, for secondary education, it was 28.8% while 21% neither attended primary nor secondary school. In the year 2012, 60% of the Nigerian population which was equivalent to 80 million were youths. This study shows that job creation does not really meet the demand; a different strategy is required for unemployment to be reduced.

In the second quarter of 2017, South Africa Statistics indicated that the rate of unemployment remained constant at 27.7%. Since the inception of the data series in South Africa, the rate of unemployment had been high. In 2016, the highest record was 27.1%. In 2017, the unemployment rate was 36.6%. In general, the rate of unemployment for youth below 25 years in 2017 was the highest, standing at 67.4%. Clearly, the ever-increasing rate of unemployment among youths in South Africa is becoming a national crisis with economic, political and social impacts. This report informs this study by pointing out that through sustained efforts, youth unemployment can be mitigated through the provision of requisite skills development among the youth and having elaborate youth empowerment programs that encourage entrepreneurship (Reilly & Witt, 1992).

In Nigeria, unemployment among the youths has also been identified as a key socio- economic problem that affects the country’s population. It has led to frustration among the youth, rejection and dependence on family members. Lately, there has been adverse development in the social economic and political sectors, due to unemployment and underemployment among the youths. This is seen in the increase in kidnapping, militancy, restiveness, violent crimes and political intolerance. In 2016, the statistics on labor show that youth unemployment rate in Nigeria had increased to 22.2 percent, a figure much higher than in neighboring countries like Tanzania and Uganda where the youth unemployment rates are 11.46 percent and 2.7 percent respectively (Nebe & Mang`eni, 2016). Unemployment among youth threatens the wellbeing of society. Adebayo (2013), argues that unemployment among youth has both local and international impacts. His study further noted that youth unemployment leads to increase in violence, political instability, drug abuse and crimes such as petty theft, burglary, drug trafficking, human trafficking, kidnapping, and armed robbery.

Ponge (2013), determined that some 4.5 million youth in Nigeria join the labor force every year without expecting any employment. This trend puts youth in a difficult situation where they swim in poverty leading to engaging themselves in crimes like political violence, kidnapping, destitution, armed robbery, prostitution, and many more. From this background, the researcher set out to evaluate how the current levels of youth unemployment in Nigeria influences crime rates among the youth in Dutsin-Ma local government Area.

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Item Type: Project Material  |  Size: 91 pages  |  Chapters: 1-5
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