740,000 Kenyans Have Lost Jobs in 2021 - Govt Report Shows

  • Jobseekers wait to hand in their documents during recruitment at County Hall in Nairobi, 2019.
    Jobseekers wait to hand in their documents during recruitment at County Hall in Nairobi, 2019.
  • Over 740,000 Kenyans lost jobs in 2021. This is according to the latest Economic Survey 2021 released on Thursday, September 9, by National Treasury Cabinet Secretary, Ukur Yatani.

    According to the report, the number of employed people fell to 17.4 million from 18.1 million at the end of 2020.

    The wage employment in the private sector declined while that of the public sector increased. The informal sector which employees the majority of Kenyans, saw the employment opportunities shrink to 2.9 million jobs.

    The total employment outside small-scale agriculture and pastoralist activities contracted by 4.1 per cent to 17.4 million in 2020.

    Job seekers in Kenya.
    Job seekers in Kenya.

    Agriculture was among the best-performing sectors of the economy in 2020 after it recorded a growth of 4.6 per cent, mainly driven by tea and sugarcane sectors.

    “This was mainly as a result of increased production of tea and food crops such as beans, rice, sorghum, and millet,” Yatani noted.

    Generally, the country's economy contracted by 0.3 per cent in 2020 compared to a 5 per cent growth in 2019. The contraction comes despite the country rebasing its economy in a move that has seen it expand to Ksh10.753 trillion in 2020 compared to Ksh10.256 trillion in 2019.

    The report further details that the ICT sector grew by 4.8 per cent owing to the increase in mobile money transactions and the use of ICT to facilitate out-of-school learning.

    The construction sector also recorded a growth of 11.8 per cent compared to 5.6 per cent growth in 2019. Cement consumption increased in the year under review.

    Tourism, transport, and manufacturing were negatively impacted mostly by the effects of the pandemic.

    Earnings from tourism declined by 43.9 per cent to Ksh91.7 billion, while in transport and storage sector, the volume of commercial cargo traffic handled decreased by 8.9 per cent.

    The manufacturing sector declined with the credit advancing to the sector increasing by 11.8 per cent to Ksh80.5 billion.

    Treasury Cabinet Secretary Ukur Yatani
    Treasury Cabinet Secretary Ukur Yatani