Kenya’s unemployment level up 5.2 percent in Q2

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    Unemployment - people looking for jobs
    PHOTO/COURTESY: Reuters

    Kenya’s unemployment rate doubled by 5.2 percent to 10.4 percent in the second quarter of the year following the first recorded case of the coronavirus in the country in March.

    The virus has forced local companies to restructure their operations in an effort to stay afloat in a volatile working environment and this has led to numerous job cuts in Kenya’s occupation market.

    According to the latest quarterly report released by the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS), unemployed persons in the country stood at 4,637,164 in the period under review up from 2,329,176 in a similar period in 2019.

    The report similarly shows that the number of individuals in active employment in the second quarter of the year fell to 15, 870,357 down from 17,790,800 in a similar period in 2019.  In the first three months of the years the number of people in active employment stood at 17,586,961.

    Youth aged between 20 and 29 years took the full brunt of the job cuts witnessed in the country’s working industry in the period under review with job losses in the specific group rising by 20 percent. The aforementioned age bracket similarly recorded the largest increase of over 10 per cent each in unemployment over the three months reference period.

    In the second quarter of 2020, labour force participation levels stood at 64.4 percent, a 3.3 percent decrease from 67.9 percent recorded in the first quarter of 2020, and a 5.5 fall from 69.7 percent registered in a similar period in 2019. Mirroring the result of past quarters, individuals who fell in the 15 – 19 years age bracket recorded the lowest participation rate at 25.2 percent.

    The KNBS report consequently discovered that the total employment to population ratio in the country, for the working-age population was 57.7 percent in the period compared to 64.4 percent registered in the first three months of 2020. This was a drop of 8.8 percent from what was recorded in the same quarter in 2019.

    ALSO READ: Land, house rates drop in Q2 2020

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