848,200 Jobs In A Year: Job Growth Amidst Economic Challenges In Kenya

848,200 Jobs In A Year Job Growth Amidst Economic Challenges In Kenya
848,200 Jobs In A Year Job Growth Amidst Economic Challenges In Kenya

The 2024 Economic Survey of Kenya presents an optimistic picture of job creation, with employment in modern and informal sectors, minus small-scale farming and herding, increasing from 19.1 million in 2022 to a noteworthy 20 million in 2023.

Notwithstanding economic challenges, the nation witnessed a significant spike in employment opportunities, adding 848,200 jobs, with the informal sector alone contributing an impressive 85 percent of these roles.

According to the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS), the nominal wage bill climbed to Sh2.8.6 trillion, registering a growth of 7.3 percent in 2023. However, a dip was noted in the real annual average earnings per employee in the private sector by 2.5 percent.

The Survey highlights that, despite adverse economic conditions prompting companies to downsize for cost-cutting, the country still managed to create a significant number of jobs.

There was a growth of 4.1 percent in wage employment in the modern sector, accounting for an additional 122,800 jobs. Public sector employment saw even higher growth at 5.9 percent in 2023. Increases were also reported in both the private and public sectors’ wage bills.

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The teaching profession represented the most substantial portion of the public sector wage bill at Sh285 billion, which was a 6.5 percent increase from the previous year, accounting for 34.2 percent of the total.

While the overall annual average earnings saw an upswing by 3.4 percent to Sh894,232.8 in 2023, real annual average earnings per employee unfortunately declined by 4.1 percent. This meant a monthly translation to Sh55,608 for employees.

Experts theorize that the contraction in salary could be attributed to an elevated tax burden, such as the introduction of a 2.5 percent housing levy on gross salary and increased charges for social protection and healthcare coverage.

Despite these economic pressures, inflation maintained a steady rate of 7.7 percent as in the previous year, driven by rising costs in transportation, food and beverages, and household utilities.

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