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There has been a drop in the number of jobs advertised by job aggregators as Covid-19 took hold and lockdown measures were implemented. [ Photo / UNEP ]

Kenya has recorded a 58% drop in the number of jobs advertised since the first case of COVID-19 was recorded in the country on 13th March 2020, according to latest research, while key sectors have defied the disruption to record a marked increase in employment. The Covid-19 pandemic has hit the employment sector hard across the world with job losses being recorded in millions.

The Kenyan job market has not been spared by the scourge. “There has been a drop in the number of jobs advertised on BrighterMonday and other job aggregators as Covid-19 took hold and lockdown measures were implemented,” says Mr. Emmanuel Mutuma, Chief Executive Officer, BrighterMonday Kenya, which released the findings on July 24th.

It says many positions in the travel and hospitality sectors were frozen in the first weeks when the virus hit Kenya. Other sectors soon followed with most companies laying off their employees and others sending them on unpaid leave.

According to the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS), over one million people in Kenya lost their jobs due to companies closing or businesses downsizing to survive the economic downturn brought about by the pandemic. In some instances, sectors like the hospitality and travel industries have faced total shutdowns, forcing companies to send their staff home on unpaid leave or layoffs.

As expected, the biggest gainers in terms of employment were in essential services such as healthcare and safety at 700%, trade and services at 327%, agriculture and farming at 170%, quality assurance and control at 113%, among others.  Unlike other markets, job opportunities in property and real estate increased by 125%. This has been attributed to people disposing of property in an effort to maintain liquidity. Working remotely also gained a lot of ground in the past few months.

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Hospitality and travel, and building and architecture industries were most hit with the cessation of movement and gathering restrictions recording a drop of 47% and 75% respectively. Consulting and strategy services dropped by 20% while Community and Social Services, and Project and Product Management dropped by 36% and 37% respectively.

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Industries that showed minimal decline include creative and design, marketing and communication, legal services, human resources and administration among others.

In April, BrighterMonday Kenya launched a campaign dubbed ‘Unity In Adversity’ that offers free job listing services for individuals or companies seeking to hire as the country battles the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

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