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80% of employed Kenyans to seek new jobs next year

New survey shows elections and a slow economy shrunk the Kenyan job market by 17 percent as companies undertook massive layoffs to stay afloat



Nairobi Senator Johnson Sakaja during the launch of the job market survey report

Only 1% of Kenyans are happy with their current jobs, according to a new report released today by Brighter Monday and Trends and Insights for Africa (TIFA).

The report titled ‘Exclusive Insights into employment in Kenya’ shows that the number of the unemployed population seeking jobs translates to 52.78% while those employed but still searching for jobs constitute of 40.9%. The remaining 6.3% of job seekers are self-employed, but still looking for jobs.

The report further states that 89% of the total number of job seekers who took part in the survey have tertiary education, an indication that the jobs seekers are most likely in search for white collar jobs.

Of the unemployed, the youth (between the age of 18 to 34) constitute of the largest number of more than 86%, most of them graduates.

The report comes in the wake of layoffs in various sectors including; Media, Banking, Manufacturing, Insurance, Non-Governmental Organisations and Information Technology.

Several companies listed in the Nairobi Securities Exchange have also issued a profit warnings in 2017.

“These are attributable to various factors, such as slow economic growth, political unrest, automation replacing people, inflation and high costs of doing business,” states the report.

Overall, Kenya’s job market recorded 17% drop in opportunities during the 2017 electioneering period.

The job market survey also established that most of the job seekers use online platforms to search for employment with 65% mentions followed by word of mouth at 14% as newspapers ranked third at 12%. Recruitment agencies and radio classifieds are less considered with only 9% and 1% mentions respectively.

On the online sector, Online Job Sites are the most popular with 60% mentions followed by LinkedIn at 23% mentions. Social media ranks last at 17%.

At the top the list of the items that matter to most job seekers include remuneration and benefits, followed by career progression, conducive work environment and then job security. “These four factors matter more for your employees’ happiness (and, subsequently, employee retention) than any others,” reads the report in part.

The employed job seeker is likely to have tertiary education, majority are married and aged 25 to 34 years. 51% of employed job seekers are university graduates while 34% are from college. 12% are post-graduates while only 2% are form four leavers.

Of the employed respondents, only 5% are committed to stay in the organisation while an overwhelming majority (80%) of the employed job seekers intend to leave their job within the next one year.

“The study shows that most are leaving for professional reasons (better pay, career progress, job security, work environment) or personal reasons (to start own business). A small proportion are having conflicts at the workplace,” indicates the report.

Less than 50% of the respondents have received a pay rise in the last one year. Although the 12-month average inflation in the country currently stands at 8.04%, the salary increase for a majority of those employed is below 5%.  Less than a third of the respondents received a pay rise between 6-10%.

In terms of their remuneration, 55% earn less than Ksh 50,000 and below while 24% earn between Ksh 50,000 and Ksh 100,000. Only 21% earn over Ksh 100,000. In terms of savings culture, the more the one earns, the higher the proportion of savings.

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Of the unemployed job seekers, 57% are graduates while 35% college leavers. Post-graduates entail 5%. About half of those who are unemployed have been jobless for at least one year. “This unemployed group feels that their lack of experience, the over-supply of graduates coupled with few job opportunities is affecting their employment prospects,” states the report.

With chances of getting a job becoming minimal each day, job seekers are adopting new ways to increase their chances of getting a job which include networking, increasing number of applications and making CVs stand out.

Speaking during the launch of the survey report, Nairobi Senator Johnson Sakaja said he believes the most important thing is to provide opportunities for young people.


Editor and writer at BUSINESS TODAY, Muli has a passion for human interest stories that have a big impact on economic development. He holds a BSc in Communication and Journalism from Moi University and has worked for various organisations including Kenya Television Service. Email: [email protected] or [email protected]

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