2.6 million Kenyans searching for jobs – Report


A street in Nairobi
File image of a street in Nairobi. PHOTO| COURTESY

In Summary

  • New data from the 2019 Kenya Population and Housing Census (KPHC) shows 22.3 million Kenyans are economically engaged with 19.7 million representing the working population.
  • Nairobi City holds the record of both the most jobs and job seekers with 1.8 million roles and 422,288 unemployed persons respectively.
  • The number of females engaged in work has overtaken that of men over the period with roles standing at 9.9 million versus 9.8 million for men or an equivalent 50.2 percent of the entire workforce.

Approximately 2.6 million Kenyans are actively searching for jobs, representing an 18.2 percent rise in the number of the unemployed over the last 10 years.

New data from the 2019 Kenya Population and Housing Census (KPHC) shows 22.3 million Kenyans are economically engaged with 19.7 million representing the working population.

Meanwhile, the number of females engaged in work has overtaken that of men over the period with roles standing at 9.9 million versus 9.8 million for men or an equivalent 50.2 percent of the entire workforce.

Additionally, 18.9 million people are disengaged from the economy including those incapacitated to hold jobs and full-time students.

Rural areas hold the bulk of jobs with 13.9 million people deriving their jobs off the grassroots while urban areas hold the remaining 5.8 million jobs.

Nairobi City holds the record of both the most jobs and job seekers with 1.8 million roles and 422,288 unemployed persons respectively.

Other top employers by regional count include Kiambu, Nakuru, Kakamega and Meru while counties topping the list with the highest job seekers include Wajir, Garissa and Turkana.

Persons aged 35-64 hold the most number of jobs with 8.4 million roles while those aged between 25-34 years hold 5.5 million jobs.

Meanwhile, persons aged between 18-24 hold 2.9 million jobs while those aged above 65 years hold 1.5 million jobs.

Surprisingly, the new data encompasses roles held by minors with children aged 5-14 holding 969,868 to beat those of ages 15-17 who hold 379,497 roles.

The majority of job seekers are meanwhile aged 25-34 and 35-64 respectively.

The number of Kenyans economically engaged has however grown by 23.9 percent in a decade to 2019 where the number of the employed came in at 15.8 million while that of job seekers was quantified at 2.2 million.

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Story By Kepha Muiruri
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