Assessing Factors Affecting Rural Youth Unemployment. The Case of Bibugn Woreda Administration, East Gojjam Zone, Ethiopia

Academic Paper, 2022

33 Pages


Table of Contents

1.1. Background of the study
1.1. Statement of the Problem
1.2. Research Questions
1.3. Objectives of the Study
1.3.1. General objective of the Study
1.3.2. Specific Objectives
1.4. Significance of the Study
1.5. Scope of the Study
1.6. Organization of the Study
1.7. Concepts and Definitions

2.1. Theoretical Literature
2.1.1. Concepts of Youth and Unemployment
2.1.2. Theories of Unemployment
2.1.3. Youth Unemployment Nature and Trends
2.1.4. Youth Unemployment Experience in Rural Ethiopia
2.1.5. Causes of Rural Youth Unemployment
2.2. Empirical Evidences
2.3. Conceptual Frame Work

3.1. Description of the Study Area
3.2. Study Design
3.3. Research Approach
3.4. Population of the Study
3.5. Sample Design and Sampling Procedures
3.6. Target Population and Sample Size Determination
3.7. Types of Data and Sources
3.8. Method of Data Collection
3.9. Methods of Data Analysis and Interpretation
3.10. Variables of the Study
3.11. Model Specification
3.12. Ethical Consideration

4. Work Plan
4.1. Time Schedule
4.2. Cost of the Project



CSA = Central Statistical Agency

EPR = Employment-To-Population Ratio

ILO = International Labor Organization

MoLSA = Ministry Of Labor and Social Affairs

NEET = Employment, Education or Training NEN = Near East, North Africa UN = United Nation

UNDP = United Nations Development Programme

WHO = World Health Organization



This chapter defines and gives background to youth unemployment trend, in global perspectives and nationally. In addition it outlines statement of the problem, significance of study, limitation of the study, general objectives and specific objectives, variables in the study and finally the organizations of the research paper.

1.1. Background of the study

Youth unemployment is a new concept of global problems, threatening whole humanity including educated and illiterate mass especially youth to cope up the magnitude of the problem in their respective locality. Today youth unemployment is a common agenda and a critical issue of all country. Particularly, it is the serious problem in developing country.

The global youth unemployment rate is 13.6 %, there is considerable regional variation, from under 9% in Northern America to 30 % in Northern Africa. The contributing factors to this high rate of global youth unemployment are largely due to the lack of job opportunities but also include barriers to entering the labor market, like limited work experience and the increasing size of the population itself in worldwide, there are approximately 1.3 billion young people between the ages of 15 and 24. Unemployment is more prevalent among young women in most sub regions, (ILO, 2022).

Globally, one-fifth of young people currently have NEET status, which means they are neither gaining experience in the labor market, nor receiving an income from work, nor enhancing their education and skills. Clearly, their full potential is not being realized, though many may be contributing to the economy through unpaid work, which is particularly true of young women, (ILO, 2020). According to international labor organization report (ILO, 2022), unemployment is projected to stand at 207 million. This is 21 million more than in 2019 before the novel corona virus disease (COVID-19) pandemic began.

In regions like Africa, young people make up more than one fifth of the population and 95% of their work is considered informal. By definition, this means work that's without legal or social protections. In practice, this typically means work that comes with low pay, erratic hours, uncertain employment status, and hazardous working conditions, ILO (2020). A research conducted by Msigwa and Kipesha (2013) and Alawad et. al., (2020) concluded that gender, geographical location, education, skills and marital status are all significant factors in explaining the difference in youth employment status. Increasing youth unemployment rate is a crucial problem because it causes both economic and social problems. To sum up, it generates loss of resources (human capital), leads to social unrest, increased crime rate, drug use and mental disorders (depression, suicide attempts, feeling desperate etc.). Battling with the problems described above is not easy for governments. Policies to cope with youth unemployment are complicated, Fatih Ayhan (2016).

Arguably, the most important issue facing rural youth in the NEN region today is weak job creation. In the context of healthy structural and rural transformation processes, new jobs must be created in order to absorb labor released from agricultural activities. In the NEN region, excessive regulation has dampened business development and job creation. However, the two sub regions have diverged in this regard, with CEN economies becoming more competitive over time and NENA economies falling further behind. NENA countries are also lagging in terms of technology adoption, while job opportunities available to youth are mainly in the informal sector. That said, the agricultural business climate in both sub regions remains uncompetitive. This is a problem given that the NEN region is among the most water-scarce in the world and will be adversely affected by global warming, Nader Kabbani (2019).

The World Youth Report (2018) emphasizes that the Goals, targets and instruments incorporated in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development offer increased opportunities to advance youth development objectives in the context of social, economic and environmental sustainable development efforts. When coupled with existing efforts to advance youth policy development and implementation, both through targeted youth policies and the mainstreaming of youth issues, the new development land scope offers innumerable opportunities for young people to thrive. However, for these efforts to be successful, much more is needed in terms of political commitment, financing, measurement, data collection, and targeted interventions in support of youth. In the areas of education and employment, large gaps remain in the input needed to realize the Goals and targets set out in Agenda 2030 and complementary frameworks.

The 1995 Copenhagen declaration on Social Development and Programme of Action of the World Summit for Social Development' called for special attention to youth employment. The United Nations Millennium declaration also adopted a commitment to "develop and implement strategies that give young people everywhere a real chance to find decent and productive work" (Morris, 2006). However, such strategies are designed; youth still suffer a lot due to unemployment. So; highly population of youth unemployment is one of the vital socio-economic problems that bring social disturbance, political instability and economic recession facing the country, Amiri Bilalama (2019). In developing countries, youth face not only the challenge of obtaining productive employment, but also obtaining safe and acceptable works (Getahun, 2019). Hence, it is a great concern to policy makers of many nations.

ILO, (2020) entitled by the report on employment in Africa (Re-Africa), tackling the youth employment challenge presented is that in Africa, the employment-to-population ratio (EPR) tends to be higher than what it is for the rest of the world, although the difference has been shrinking over time. This is due to more people in Africa taking employment of any form than they do elsewhere. In the most recent year (2019), the EPR for Africa differed by only 1.4 percentage points from that for the rest of the world Within Africa, marked sub regional disparities exist.

Eastern Africa had the highest EPR of all in 2019 (74.8 per cent), while northern Africa had the lowest (40.1 per cent). Although EPRs for the continent are getting closer to global values, those of northern and southern Africa are much lower than for the rest of the world. Northern and southern Africa (67.3% and 40.2%, respectively) has the two lowest rates of informal employment on the continent. There is also evidence that the growth in employment and in the working-age population is proportional, as the ratios remain largely unchanged within regions.

In respect to this, in the period 2000 to 2019, the EPR in eastern Africa only altered from 75.1 per cent to 74.8 percent; those of western Africa remained around 55 per cent between 2016 and 2019 down from 61.7 per cent in 2000. Those of northern and southern Africa oscillated around 40 per cent t while Central Africa recorded a relatively high reduction from 70.5 per cent in 2000 down to 65.6 per cent in 2019.

Moreover Wubie (2012) stated that 80% of youths are rural in Ethiopia. However, it gets little attention by government authorities both at national and local levels. Hence, rural youth unemployment is a multidimensional concept that needs a study to see the reasons behind its dynamics and draw a reasonable conclusion for policy directions. Given the aforementioned youth employment scenario of the time and the current situation in Ethiopia, rural youth unemployment is consistently manifested in all administrative zone of Amhara regional state. According to Bibugn woreda Administration office (2020) unpublished report, the total rural population in this woreda is male 41718, female 42110 and total 83828. Among those total rural population 3361 males, 4698 females, total 8059 are youths (15-29 ages) and out of those youths 7407 are unemployed, which manifests the problem of youth unemployment. The data shows that how much challenges for youth unemployment and specific factors that affect the opportunities of youth employment.

Due to those facts, the main issue of this study will be dominantly explained the factors and effects on rural youth unemployment in East Gojjam Zone of Ethiopia particularly in Bibugn Woreda Administration. The output provided by this study will be useful to concerned governmental bodies to take corrective actions to mitigate the cause of rural youth unemployment. It can also serve as potential reference for those individuals who want to conduct further studies on the same or related areas.

1.2. Statement of the Problem

Unemployment is a complex and dynamic socio-economic phenomenon. Regarding to this phenomenon, the previous studies more touch with in the determinants of urban youth unemployment, in some cases on young women rather than rural area, especially in Bibugn woreda yet not any study in a concern of youth unemployment. The studies couldn't also indicate clearly the policy implications, the method they used and have gab in analysis of the findings. This requires an adapted conceptual frame work, the investigator therefore.

The study of youth unemployment also requires theoretical frames regarding with the new concepts, perspectives and theories of youth unemployment. The methodology they used in almost all previous studies was similar. This created contradictions, controversies and inconsistencies results for the concerned bodies so; the intention of this study is to investigate the factors and its effects on rural youth unemployment in the study area.

The other rational for undertaking this study is originated from the investigator, has become interested to conduct a study on this topic due to the fact that, he observe most of the rural youth residing in the area are unemployed and they have no source of revenue in order to run their day to day life, while he was assigned for public leader position in that woreda. And the community of this woreda also affected by the existing circumstances. These call for a careful study of demographic and socio economic effects on rural youth unemployment at Bibugn woreda administration. Consequently, the results provide information for designing relevant programs and strategies to reduce the problem of youth unemployment in the study area.

1.3. Research Questions

The specific research questions of the study area as follows:

1. What are the main determinants those which contribute to the high level of rural youth unemployment?
2. What is the current status of rural youth unemployment in Bibugn Woreda Administration?
3. What seems like the effects of variations in socio-demographic characteristics on activity status of youths in Bibugn Woreda Administration?
4. What are the policy instruments to overcome the deep-rooted youth unemployment challenges and also what alternative ways that may help to reduce youth unemployment?

1.4. Objectives of the Study

1.4.1. General objective of the Study

The main objective of the study is to investigate the major factors and the undesirable consequences on rural youth unemployment in Bibugn Woreda Administration.

1.4.2. Specific Objectives

Under the umbrella of general objective, the study is aimed to achieve the following specific objectives:

1. To identify the factors those which contribute to the high level of rural youth unemployment?
2. To assess the current status of rural youth unemployment in Bibugn Woreda Administration.
3. To examine the effects of variations in socio-demographic characteristics on activity status of rural youths in Bibugn Woreda Administration.
4. To draw conclusions and provide the key policy instruments to overcome the deep-rooted youth unemployment challenges and also explore alternative ways that may help to reduce youth unemployment.

1.5. Significance of the Study

The youth unemployment is the global issue in the world and of which Ethiopia is one in general and in Bibugn Woreda Administration in particular. Previous studies have been attempted to explain the level of youth unemployment rather than addressing the specific factors affecting youth employment. In assessing the factors that affect employment opportunities of the young people, this study is different from other studies conducted so far. The study attempts to address factors that contribute for the high youth unemployment.

The study on rural youth unemployment and its effect will provide policymakers, government agencies, private sector and development partners' with information about the social-economic and political costs of youth unemployment in order to improve the current situation for the youth, create jobs and inclusive opportunities in the labor market.

The study will primarily generates better understanding to the researcher in knowing the main causes of rural youth unemployment. In addition, the study will contribute to the available literature and it will acts as the advocacy for the unemployed in Bibugn Woreda Administration. Finally, the study will enable to create mechanisms to solve the problems, the information obtained from the study will also enables to see the reasons behind the problem and draw a reasonable conclusion for policy directions.

1.6. Scope of the Study

The study will look into the population about the perceptions of unemployment status, understands the extents and nature of youth unemployment, reducing youth unemployment, major factors contributing to youth unemployment, the effects of youth unemployment on earnings and provides a platform for policy makers on in-depth analysis in order to conform with projects and programs designed to eradicate youth unemployment.

The study will be delimited on conceptual, geographical and time scopes. Conceptually, this study will focus on rural youth unemployment. In examining the effects of rural youth rural youth unemployment the demographic factors and socio economic factors are which also the study focuses. With regard to geographical scope Bibugn Woreda Administration is a focus area, because the researcher is a well familiar to it. The time scope for this study will take from February 2022 to June 2022.

It is probable that the finding may not represent the reality of the unemployment conditions in Bibugn Woreda Administration. As the concept of employment is wide and can be studied from different perspectives. Therefore, for the sake of time and emphasis as well, the study will only be limited to exploring the condition of youth unemployment, examining the cause and consequences of youth unemployment in the study area.

1.7. Organization of the Study

This research proposal is organized as follows. Chapter one covers background of the study, statement of the problem, objectives, questions, significance, scope and limitations of the study and definition of terms and concepts. Chapter two covers literature of past researches done in relation to youth unemployment. Chapter three discusses the methodologies used in this paper to reach the objectives set in the chapter one and describes the variables. And also work schedule, budget and references are included.

1.8. Concepts and Definitions

Youth: The UN defines youth as the age group between 15 and 24 years old, but, Ethiopia's national youth policy (2004) defines youth as those aged between 15-29.

Rural: areas that have significant economic activity in the agricultural sector.

Rural youth: people who are between ages of 15-29 and lives in the areas that have significant economic activity in the agricultural sector.

Employed person: persons who have been working for most of the weeks during the six month prior to the survey date were considered as being employed (CSA, 2020).

Employed population: The employed population is defined as persons above specified age who perform some work for wage, salary, profit or family gain in cash or in kind during the reference period. More generally, employed persons are those people who are engaged in economic activity to produce goods and services (CSA, 2020).

Unemployed person: According to CSA definition, those who work for less than 12 weeks or those who did not work at all but who were looking or available for work were counted as being unemployed labor force(CSA,2020).

Household: consists of a person or group of persons, irrespective of whether related or not, who normally live together in the same household and housing units and have common cooking and eating arrangements (CSA, 2011).

Unemployment Rate: The fraction of the labor force that is unemployed, i.e. the number of unemployed divided by the total labor force.

Decent Work: Productive work in which rights are protected, which generates an adequate income, with adequate social protection. Also means sufficient work, in the sense that all should have full access to income-earning opportunities (ILO, 2015).

Unemployed Population: Consists of persons without work but who are available and ready to work if any job was found. Those who are neither engage nor available to work are classified as economically not active (CSA, 2020).

Demographic factors: influencing factors concern on the characteristics of rural youth.

Socio-economic factors: social and economic factors that have an influence on rural youth employment.

Employment Rate: The fraction of the labor force that is employed, i.e. the number of employed divided by the total labor force (CSA, 2020).


2.1. Theoretical Literature

2.1.1. Concepts of Youth and Unemployment

Youth definition varies across organizations and countries. According to Higgins (2018) in most European countries the base for youth lower age is minimum school-living age, while the upper limit varies widely across countries. But in developing countries where there is no minimum school-leaving age limit, the base to define the term youth entirely depend on the cultural and institutional framework and highly contextual.

Fox et al.(2016) further stated that youth is flexibly defining that allows country-specific policy and programming and considering the heterogeneous nature of the youth population and recognizing different needs and different contexts. For instance, in developing countries like Ethiopia, where there is no minimum school- leaving age limit the base to define the term youth entirely depend on the cultural and institutional framework and highly contextual (Idris, 2016). On the context of Ethiopia's national youth policy (2004) defined youth as between age 15 and 29. The overall literature clearly shows that there is no single agreed definition of the youth age category. The researcher will found to use in this study the term youth as defined in Ethiopia's national youth policy (2004) defines youth as those aged between 15-29.

Robalino et al. (2013) defined unemployment as a numbers of economically active populations who are without work, but available for and seeking work, including people who have lost their jobs and those who have voluntarily left work. The authors further argued that unemployment concept is problematic, Strict definition of unemployment doesn't fully express the real picture of unemployment in countries.

Hence in order to measure unemployment depending on the existing labor market situations, special provisions are made to relax the definition. Thus, the completely relaxed definition of unemployment, which is best suits the Ethiopian labor market situations includes persons who had no work but available for work (Central Statistical Agency, 2012). As a result in this study, the researcher assumes a relaxed notion of unemployment that includes persons without job, currently available for work and actively pursuing job.


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Assessing Factors Affecting Rural Youth Unemployment. The Case of Bibugn Woreda Administration, East Gojjam Zone, Ethiopia
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assessing, factors, affecting, rural, youth, unemployment, case, bibugn, woreda, administration, east, gojjam, zone, ethiopia
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Alebachew Shita (Author), 2022, Assessing Factors Affecting Rural Youth Unemployment. The Case of Bibugn Woreda Administration, East Gojjam Zone, Ethiopia, Munich, GRIN Verlag,


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