About 89.72 per cent of the 832,900 new jobs created last year were from the informal sector as the Jubilee administration failed once again on a million-jobs-a-year pledge in 2013.
The 2017 Economic Survey by the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics showed yesterday that the informal sector, commonly referred to as Jua Kali, generated 747,300 jobs while the remainder 85,600 were created by the formal sector.
The jobs in 2016 was a marginal 1.03 per cent drop compared to 841,600 jobs in 2015. More than 10,000 jobs were reportedly lost last year as dozens of companies resorted to staff layoffs to cope with a “tough operating environment”. The firms were largely in insurance, banking and media.
“The economy has however remained resilient and the growth has been achieved by the initiatives the government has put in place, easing the cost of doing business,” Devolution and Planning CS Mwangi Kiunjuri said.
The new jobs in 2016 pushed up the persons in employment to 19.92 million from 15.16 million in 2015.
New jobs created stood at 799,700 in 2014 and 742,000 in 2013 as per the government’s data.
Total earnings in public and private sectors increased to Sh1.647 trillion in 2016 from Sh1.509 trillion in 2015, a nine per cent jump.
Most jobs in 2016 were created in the tourism sector, information and communication, real estate and transport and storage sectors, which also helped the economy weather the impact of drought, hence the key drivers of the economy.
Total international arrivals increased to 1.34 million in 2016 from 1.18 million the previous year. Tourism industry earnings increased to Sh99.7 billion, compared to Sh84.6 billion.
The economy grew by 5.8 per cent last year compared to 5.7 in 2015, the KNBS survey showed, despite a ravaging drought and squeeze in credit to the private sector as a result of capping of interest rates.
“The economy experienced a relatively conducive macroeconomic environment. However, the growth was somewhat hampered by drought and a considerable slowdown in the uptake of credit in the fourth quarter of 2016,” KNBS director-general Zachary Mwangi said during the launch of the survey in Nairobi.
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