Kenya's Unemployment Rate Doubles in 3 Months - KNBS Report

  • Jobseekers queue on Wabera Street, Nairobi, as they wait to be interviewed by The Sarova Stanley on May 26, 2018.
    Jobseekers queue on Wabera Street, Nairobi, as they wait to be interviewed by The Sarova Stanley on May 26, 2018.
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  • Kenya's unemployment rate has doubled in the past three months from 5.2% to 10.4%, a report by the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) has revealed.

    In the latest quarterly labour force report, the government agency observed that 1,841,918 Kenyans were unemployed in the months of April, May and June 2020, up from 961,666 reported in the first quarter.

    The highest proportion of the unemployed was recorded in the age groups 20-24 and 25-29, each registering over 20 per cent.

    The same age groups also had the highest increase of over 10% each in unemployment over the 3-month period.

    People advertising their expertise in the streets in the hope of getting clients.
    People advertising their expertise in the streets in the hope of getting clients.
    Citizen Digital

    The survey revealed that the overall employment to population ratio in the country, for the working-age population, was 57.7% in the second quarter of 2020 compared to 64.4% recorded in the first quarter of 2020.

    The same was a decline of 8.8 per cent from what was recorded in the same quarter in 2019.

    "The Labour Underutilization (LU2), which is the combined rate of time-related underemployment and unemployment more than doubled to 17.2% in quarter 2 of 2020 compared to 8.3 per cent recorded in the previous quarter," KNBS reported.

    The number of people who were time-related underemployed increased from 577,443 in quarter 1 of 2020 to 1,199,602 in the second quarter.

    The highest rate of labour underutilization was observed in the age group 20-24 at 32.7%. Persons aged 20 to 29 years recorded an overall increase of more than 16 percentage points in [LU2] during the review period.

    The agency observed that the long-term unemployment rate was 3.1%, which was higher than the 2.0 per cent rate recorded in the first quarter of 2020.

    The long-term unemployment rate was also higher compared to the rate in the same quarter in 2019 with yet again the the youth aged 20 - 24 having the highest rate of long-term unemployment at 7.9%.

    In a previous report, statistics by KNBS showed that Kenya's elderly enjoyed the lion's share when it comes to employment.

    On the other hand, citizens aged between 20-24 still remained the most underemployed in the country in the first quarter of 2020 as well as the last quarter of 2019.

    Job seekers in Nairobi
    Job seekers in Nairobi
    Daily Nation

    The Covid-19 pandemic exacerbated the unemployement factor in the country, with President Uhuru Kenyatta during the Labour Day celebrations in May 2020 acknowledging that more than half a million Kenyans would lose their jobs during the period.