NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 15-Six hundred and four firms in Kenya, under the Federation of Kenya Employers, laid off some of their staffers owing to the economic shocks brought about by the coronavirus pandemic, a new report shows.
Speaking exclusively to Capital Business, Federation of Kenya Employers Executive Director Jacqueline Mugo revealed that the end of May stood as the peak month where most employers moved to send some of their workers packing in order to reduce their wage bill.
“Redundancies were already happening for companies that were in distress but I would say most companies resulted in layoffs end of May and the beginning of June when it became obvious that this was going to be long drawn out,” said Mugo.
Mugo said the manufacturing, hotel, and the manufacturing sectors were the most affected according to the survey conducted by FKE and the Ministry of Labor and Social Protection.
“All sectors were actually affected but largely those that were worse hit are under manufacturing, hotel, agriculture,” she added.
According to Mugo the number of affected firms could exceed 604 as the survey only covered those under the Federation of Kenya Employers, who at the moment are unable to predict full recovery.
“These numbers are just from our members but if you look nationally, the numbers could even be more,” said FKE boss Jacqueline Mugo.
Mugo’s comments come at the backdrop of a recently released quarterly labor report by the Kenya National Bureau of Standards that showed close to 1.72 million workers were rendered jobless from April to June.
This saw the number of people in employment dropping to 15.87 million compared to 17.59 million in the previous quarter.
The highest proportion of the unemployed has remained between the ages of 20, 24,25, and 29 respectively with unemployment rates of 22.8 and 21.7 percent.
Companies started reporting reduced sales ahead of Kenya imposing restrictions to curb the spread of coronavirus.