The number of Kenyan graduates searching for jobs after leaving school has increased even as many more give up on the job hunt, reflecting a tough economic environment.
A new report by the World Bank has shown that a fifth of individuals aged 26 in 2019 were either not actively looking for jobs or actively job-searching or technically unemployed, an increase from 17 percent in 2015.
The report, Social Protection and Jobs Public Expenditure Review’, indicates the difficulties youths graduating from college face when searching for decent jobs, with official data showing that formal employment where graduates can strand their trade has been declining
“The school-to-work transition among young Kenyans continues well into their 20s and has become progressively more difficult since 2015,” said the World Bank. The Treasury has noted Kenya Kwanza’s agenda is geared towards an economic turnaround and inclusive growth and aims to increase investments in at least five sectors that will have the largest impact on the economy and households.
These sectors, said Treasury Cabinet secretary Njuguna Ndung’u, include agricultural transformation, micro, small and medium enterprises, housing and settlement, healthcare and digital superhighway and creative industry.
“Special focus will be placed on increased employment, more equitable distribution of income, social security while also expanding the tax revenue base, and increased foreign exchange earnings,” he said in the 2023 Budget Policy Statement (BPS).
The World Bank noted that in addition to creating more jobs, Kenya will need to improve the quality of the jobs it creates, with a lot of Kenyans eking out a living in the informal sector where the earnings are little and erratic
Data has shown that a large number of people had not been employed since the covid pandemic and that a lot of people had given up on job hunting.