NAIROBI, Kenya, May 31- An estimated 735,711 Kenyan youths were unemployed between January and March 2020, new data from the statistics office has said.
In its Quarterly Labor Force report, Kenya National Bureau of Statistics revealed that youths between ages 20 and 24 made the highest number of those out of the job market at 241,728 during the period.
The tally was followed by that of youths aged between 25-29, who were 228,466 during the quarter.
The report is a confirmation that Kenya’s youths are still the most affected by the unemployment crisis, compared to those who are aged 35 years and above.
“Youth aged between 20-24 had the highest proportion of the unemployed at 12.5percent. On the other hand, those aged 55-59 had the least unemployment rate of 0.3 percent,” the report said.
Overall, the number of employed Kenyans dropped by 1.7 percent in the quarter to 17.8 million from 18.1 million in the quarter ended December 2019.
KNBS data also showed that 2.8 million potential employees were either unavailable or available job seekers.
“The relaxed unemployment rate for the first quarter 2020 was 13.7 percent showing a deterioration from the 12.4 percent recorded in the fourth quarter of 2019, ” read the KNBS report.
However, Kenya’s unemployment rate remained unchanged during the review period at 4.9 percent with those aged between 20-24 recording the highest rate at 4.8 percent while those aged 60-64 registering the lowest at 0.06 percent.
The data further reveals that over 8 million Kenyans aged 36-64 were still in employment during the period under review.
The report comes at a time when the employment crisis is shaking the country, owing to the Coronavirus pandemic that has slowed down the country’s economy.
The ministry of health on May 30 announced that an estimated 300,000 people in Kenya had lost their jobs since Kenya reported its first coronavirus case in March 13.
President Uhuru Kenyatta had in early may warned that more than half a million jobs will be lost in six months should the cases of coronavirus infections continue to rise.
Kenya has so far recorded 1,962 cases of the coronavirus and 64 deaths.