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2.1 Million Kenyans Are Back To Work After Covid Crises

During the COVID-19 pandemic, more than 7,40,000 Kenyan people lost their jobs. The economy of the country drastically contracted due to the pandemic and it slowed down the economic activities and as a result of that, many employees were fired from their job. The government of Kenya tried its best to cushion the economy in order to safeguard the income opportunities of the citizens. However, still, the number of employed people in the country declined from 18.1 million to 17.4 million. In order to fight the unemployment issue, the government shifted its focus to the Economic Recovery Strategy with the objective to restore the economy for further growth by creating economic opportunities through jobs. The impact of the same was visible in the fact that more than two million Kenyans landed back to their jobs by March 2021. The employment data of the government saw a positive improvement in the labour market for the employees. 

How Covid-19 Pandemic Impacted Jobs In Kenya?

With the economic slowdown, many employees were fired. However, with government incentives, many people managed to get back their jobs. Governments from across the globe are trying their best to ensure that the citizens are not affected financially due to the pandemic. For instance, in India, Lottery Sambad is organized to ensure financial help to the winners of the Teer Result. Even though many people were forced out of the labour force due to the pandemic, they did not necessarily come under unemployed people as the strict definition of the term did not allow that. However, that does not change the fact that many Kenyans were indeed unemployed. The situation is controlled according to the reports of the first quarter of 2021. The unemployment rate in the fourth quarter in 2020 was 14.3% and in the first quarter of 2021, it dropped to 12.3% indicating a slight improvement in the labour market. 

Due to the pandemic, the education and the hospitality sector of the country were affected to an extent that the gross domestic product of Kenya was reduced by 0.3%. However, now the economy of the country is coming back to control as indicated by a growth of 1.2 % in gross domestic product. 

New Trend Is Emerging In Kenya

The huge job loss that resulted during the pandemic, forced many youths to realize that working under someone else is not a very good idea. As a result of this, many youths of Kenya and many other countries like India, Pakistan, Canada and Ghana want to be self-employed. The trend is visible in the fact that during the global lockdown, many youths from different countries started a business. Even those who are still working their main job are considering side hustle for extra financial security. 

A report by The Prince’s Trust Group of Charities indicated that in the current time, youth prefers to start their own business instead of seeking either private or government jobs. Participants of Kenya in the study admitted that the lockdown in the country provided them with the opportunity to consider their side hustle seriously and work on it. Most of the youth want to be self-employed to become wealthy, get job security and also they love the flexibility that self-employment provides. 

In Kenya, due to the lockdown when many people were laid off, the hardest burden was felt by the youth below the age group of 25 and therefore, there is a heavy inclination towards self-employment to take the financial situation in control. The pandemic also worked as a catalyst to further push the youth of the country to the gig economy and informal sector. Like many other African countries, even the youths of Kenya are embracing social commerce and eCommerce businesses that can be run from the comfort of home with a minimal investment with high returns. The digital economy is now on the central stage for the youth who are grabbing this opportunity to create their very own business. 

The passion for entrepreneurship should be welcomed in Kenya by ensuring that the youth have access to the right tools in order to fulfil their dreams. Even though many Kenyans are going back to the same work environment now, many are also establishing their very own businesses. Both of these factors will contribute to improving the economy of the country and should be encouraged. With fewer jobs and a more young Kenyan population, it is important to embrace the digital space to encourage more employment opportunities and growth in the digital economy.

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