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Economy Created 846,000 Jobs in 2019 -KNBS

A juakali artisan at work. Viffaconsult outlines critical success factors for Kenya's SME Guarantee Scheme.

Some 846,000 jobs were created in 2019 despite the country’s economic growth slowing down to 5.4% against the 6.3% posted in 2018, the Economic Survey 2020 shows.

Treasury Cabinet Secretary Ukur Yatani has predicted that the country’s economy’s growth in Fiscal Year 2020 will slow down to 2.5% and in the worst-case scenario 1.8% adding that the government is expecting many Kenyans to lose their jobs due to the shocks of COVID-19.

During the release of the survey findings, Yatani said out of the 846,000 jobs, 78,000 jobs were in the formal sector while 768,000 of them were in the informal sector.

However, questions still persist on the authenticity of these figures as Kenyans continue to report lament lack of employment which is expected to exercabate this year by unprecedented margins due to the Coronavirus Pandemic.

Wage employment in the private sector increased by 2.35% from 201,700 people in 2018 to 206,300 people in 2019.

“Some of the projections we had made this year are most likely not realizable given the challenge of Coronavirus, the locust invasion, and all other challenges we are likely to encounter along the way. We have estimated growth of 2.5% but can go lower than that to 1.8% if the situation persists,” reads the report.

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“As a result of this, there are loss of jobs, loss of earnings and the general slackiness of growth at all levels and this might actually persist for a long time,” added Yatani.

Nominal average earnings in the modern sector per person increased from Ksh 719,924.6 per annum in 2018 to Ksh 778,248.0 per annum in 2019.

Within the public sector, wage employment increased from 842,900 thousand people in 2018 to 865,200 thousand people in 2019.

The nominal wage bill for private and public sectors rose from Ksh2,058.9 billion in 2018 to Ksh2,279.0 billion in 2019.

The private sector wage bill went up by 10.6 percent to stand at Ksh1.6illion trillion in 2019, while the public sector wage bill rose by 10.8 percent.

The share of County Government wage payments to the total public sector was 21.5 percent in 2019.

The annual inflation as measured by the Consumer Price Index (CPI) increased from 4.7 percent in 2018 to 5.2 percent in 2019.

Sectors

Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing sector accounted for a sizeable proportion of the slowdown, from 6.0 per cent
growth in 2018 to 3.6 per cent in 2019.

The manufacturing sector grew by 3.2 per cent in 2019 compared to 4.3 percent growth in 2018. Despite most sectors recording decelerated growths.

Agriculture slowed to 3.6% from 6.0% recorded in 2018 as adverse weather conditions affected production while construction dropped from 6.9% to 6.4% during the comparative periods.

See Also>>> Kenya’s Economic Growth Tipped to Decelerate to 3.5% This Year

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Samuel Gitonga
Samuel Gitonga is a senior reporter at BUSINESS TODAY. Email: [email protected]

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