There might be hope for the millions of Kenyans who are unemployed as Kenyan businesses sustain the renewed expansion of employment numbers according to the latest stats contained in the Stanbic Bank Kenya PMI Report.
According to the report, Kenyan businesses employed more people at the end of the year’s opening quarter, after staffing levels had contracted for the first time in six months in February, giving hope to those who hate lost it at the peak of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Stanbic attributed the rise in jobs to several factors, including efforts to boost output, provide extra services, and reduce backlogs. However, the release of some employees due to weak sales meant that the overall rate of job growth was only marginal.
The PMI Report came out a few days after the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) survey showed that the number of jobless Kenyans had increased to more than 2.97 million in the quarter running to December 2022.
According to KNBS, the number of jobless persons grew 2.94 percent from 2.89 million in September, a pointer that the economy shed over 80,000 jobs in the three months after the August 9 General Elections, hitting hard on Kenya’s young population.
The stats show that more than half of Kenyans without jobs or 1.54 million people were between 20 and 29 years, underlining the growing crisis of youth unemployment. The majority have college degrees in various fields that aren’t hiring anyone.
But if the PMI stats are something to go by 2023 might be a good year for Kenyan job seekers. “The level of outstanding business at Kenyan firms increased in March, at a modest pace but still the strongest recorded since August 2021. Sector data suggested that the upturn was largely driven by agriculture firms, as some panelists noted that adverse climate conditions had reduced output,” said Stanbic in the report.