287,481 Kenyans lost their jobs between January and March 2020, a report by the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics shows. The report states that total employment fell from 18,103,022 in Q4 2019 to 17,815,541 in Q1 2020. The country’s labor force participation fell by 1.5% to 68.7%, and older people comprised most of the labor force. The age bracket 50-54 recorded the highest labor force participation at 91.8%.
Young people between ages 15 and 25 bore the brunt of the shrinking jobs. Labor participation for the ages 15-19 fell by 8.1% while those the 20-24 age bracket dropped by 4.8%.
While the country maintained a fixed unemployment rate at 4.9%, same as the previous quarter.
“The youth aged 20-24 had the highest proportion of the unemployed at 12.5 percent. On the other hand, those aged 55 – 59 years had the least unemployment rate of 0.3 percent,” reads the report.
The second-quarter report is projected to show more job losses given the adverse effects of the pandemic. An earlier report by KNBS shows that 13.4% of Kenyans were out of work due to temporary layoffs. Additionally, manufacturers in the country cut casual labor force by 40% due to the pandemic.