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Kenya Population and Housing Survey: 2.6 Million Kenyans Are Unemployed


2.6 million people in Kenya are unemployed while 19.7 million form part of the working population, states the 2019 Kenya Population and Housing Survey.

Among this population, there 11,568,544 people who have graduated from school after completion, with more of them from rural areas standing 6,023,054 as compared to 5,545,490 people in the urban areas, implying that academic level is also a factor that determines the rate of employment in the country.

And the report further contends that in the rural areas, there are likely to be more jobs, standing at 13.9 million as compared to those in the metropolitan areas who have 5.8 million of the jobs.

“The working population in Kenya stands at 5,803,977 people with the majority being those that are aged between 35 and 64 years of age being more active at 2,465,968. The other population that is more active is 2, 171, 271 people who are aged between 25 and 34 years,” states the report.

People who work in Nairobi County are likely to have access to more working opportunities as compared to those from other counties, states the report.
1,812,311 people work in the county as compared to 422, 288 who are seeking for employment opportunities.
Nyamira County has 17,052 people who are working as compared to 2,775 who are seeking for work.

Kisii County has 57,246 people who are working as compared to 8,976 who are seeking for work. Busia County has 40, 682 people who are working, 46, 680 are in the labour force while 6,903 of people in the same county are looking for employment.

In Siaya County, there are 32,661 people who are working, 4,057 of such people are seeking for work opportunities while 36,490 are outside the labour force.

Kisumu County is another prospective county for those who are looking for work, states Volume IV of report. 1616, 192 people are working, while 29,179 of them are seeking for worked as compared to 188, 173 people who are outside the labour force.

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In total, KNBS released four volumes of the report by February 2020, as segmented by either socio-economic characteristics of the Kenyan population, administrative units and single year. The report was conducted between November and August, 2019.

According to the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI), all the 47 counties should be committed to encouraging their residents to be entrepreneurial. This is by ensuring that such counties are able to form groups through partnerships known as “Biashara Mashinani” that can create business opportunities without the unecessary bureaucracy that is requisite to form an enterprise such as licensing, double taxation or double regulation and market access for their goods.

“Every county should be able to establish and publicise and entrepreneurship and investment code that it implements in a predictable and effective manner,” states the BBI document.

The unemployment figures come against the backdrop of media reports stating that there are companies that are seeking to retrench their workers.

Examples include Kenya Airways, which in January, announced plans to lay off workers as part of its “Operation Pride” programme, though the Kenya Aviation Workers Union has opposed the move, justifying its argument that the national carrier’s attempt will not mitigate the company’s losses, standing at Sh7.56 billion that had been reported last year.

Kenya Airways last report a profit in the year 2012 of Kshs 1.66 billion.

The have been other companies that have also rendered their employees jobless within the last few months.

For instance, East Africa Portland Cement, which retrenched all of its staff last October; Stanbic 255 workers, while global broadcaster the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) in February 2020, announced plans to make 450 of its staff redundant

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