The government’s efforts to create more employment in the country seems to have been bearing fruits, with more than 800,000 jobs having been created in 2016.
According to the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics, employment increased by 5.3 percent to 16 million persons in 2016 with the informal sector accounting for 13.3 million persons of the total figure.
KNBS says Kenya’s growth in 2016 was mainly driven by ICT, real estate, transport and accommodation and food services. Some of the key sectors that recorded slow growths include agriculture, manufacturing, construction, financial and the insurance sector.
The construction industry grew by 9.2 percent in 2016 attributed to increased activity in the construction of roads and development of housing.
This growth in various sectors translated to an increase in employment opportunities, with employment growing to 16 million persons in the year.
Of this figure, 13.3 million persons are employed in the informal sector while 2.68 million people are employed in the modern sector. Education, wholesale and retail trade sectors each registered 7, 000 thousand new jobs.
The Manufacturing industry recorded 5, 000 new jobs, which represent 9.2 percent of all new jobs created during the review period. Wage earnings increased from Ksh 1.5 trillion in 2015 to Ksh 1.6 trillion in 2016.
Other industries that recorded growth in employment include the water supply, sewerage, waste management and remediation activities, which posted a growth of 14.3 percent, and electricity, gas, steam and air conditioning supply, with a growth of 11.1 percent.
Financial and insurance activities recorded a decelerated growth of 3.7 percent in 2016. Wage employment in the public sector registered a 2.6 percent growth compared to an increase of 2.5 percent recorded in 2015.
The low expansion of employment was attributed to a freeze in employment by the Government. In the period, maize production declined from 42.5 million bags in 2015 to 37.1 million bags.
Sugarcane production reduced to 7.1 million tonnes in 2016. Tea and coffee production increased by 18.5 percent and 10.8 percent to 473, 000 tonnes and 46, 000 tonnes respectively in 2016.