Covid-19: Kenya Unemployment Rate Spikes to 10.4% in Q2

Kenya’s Covid-19 Personal and Corporate Tax Relief Measures End Jan 1.

Kenya’s unemployment rate hit 10.4 percent in the second quarter from 4.90 percent recorded previously, according to the statistics agency.

According to the quarter two Labour Force Report by the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS), the number of those unemployed increased to 4,637,164 between April and June compared to 2,329,176 in the same period last year.

The figures are evidence of the damage the coronavirus has done to the fragile economy.

The government’s report Tuesday, on the effects of COVID-19 on interactions between social and economic factors conducted between 30th May and 6th June 2020:

“The proportion of individuals absent from work due to COVID-9 related challenges was 61.9 percent up from 49.9 percent that was recorded in May 2020. Of the individuals absent from work, 77.8 percent were not sure when they would resume.”

In the report, out of the respondents who worked for at least one hour during the seven days preceding the survey period, 55.9 percent were aged 35-64 years while those aged 25-34 constituted 33.8 percent and those aged 18-24 constituted 10.2 percent. 

Almost half (48.5%) of the respondents were working employers and own-account workers while slightly more than a third (35.0%) were paid, employees. 

About four out of ten males were in paid employment compared to about three out of ten of the females.

“It cannot be gainsaid that Covid-19 was acute in the second quarter; anecdotal evidence putting sectors such as tourism, hospitality, and aviation as the hardest-hit,” Genghis Capital said on Monday ahead of the report launch.

“Considering the full value chain in the key sectors, the ripple effect has been immense. Furthermore, Covid-19 has also been a shock on the demand-side with a dip in private consumption, anemic business sentiment, and depressed international trade.”