LABOUR

Corona effect: Kenya's unemployment rate doubles to 10.4%

Those unemployed increased to 4.6 million from 2.3 million between April and June.

In Summary
  • Kenya's unemployment rate doubled from 5.2 per cent to 10.4 per cent.
  • The level of unemployment rose sharply amongst young people aged 20 to 29 years.
People in search of jobs.
UNEMPLOYMENT People in search of jobs.
Image: REUTERS

The rate of joblessness doubled two months after Kenya reported its first coronavirus in March, rising to 10.4 per cent from 5.2 per cent.

The number of those unemployed increased to 4,637,164 between April and June this year compared to 2,329,176 same period last year.

It was also higher than the 4.7 per cent registered in the same quarter of 2019.

The number of people in active employment shrunk to 15,870,357 compared to 17,790,800 in the corresponding quarter last year and 17,586,961 in the first three months of the year.

 

According to the quarter two Labour Force Report by the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS), the level of unemployment rose sharply amongst young people aged 20 to 29 years as employers rushed to cut operational costs.

The level of unemployment in this segment, job entrant level rose by 20 per cent, highest on the record.

The same age group also had the highest increase of over 10 per cent each in unemployment over the three months reference period.

The labour force participation rate in the quarter under review stood at 64.4 per cent down from 67.9 per cent recorded in the previous quarter, and 69.7 per cent registered in the same quarter a year ago.

As in the previous quarters, persons in the age group 15 – 19 years recorded the lowest participation rate at 25.2 per cent.

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

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


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