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COVID-19’s effect on the local job market, stats + more


The 5-day study, which had over 7,400 professionals from different industries, provided us with real-time data enabling us to have insights on the sector-specific impact of the pandemic.

Are you done with COVID? We all are yearning to leave this crisis behind. But as eager as we are, it is critical to understand how things around us have changed and get all the facts, not just the story as we forge ahead into the future.

While it is time to look ahead and prepare for new opportunities, professionals still share the same concerns – how has COVID-19 affected different industries? What does the future of work look like?

We set out to research the depth and breadth of the impact of the pandemic on the job markets across Kenya through our ‘World After COVID’ survey. The 5-day study, which had over 7,400 respondents who are professionals from different industries, provided us with real-time data enabling us to have insights on the sector specific impact of the pandemic.

The findings – what do the numbers say? 

The data gives a preliminary look and sheds some light into how COVID-19 has affected the job market. All professions and industries have been affected, especially customer-facing professions like hospitality and customer relations. 35% of the surveyed employed professionals lost their job because of COVID-19 while almost 20% of those still employed were on unpaid leave. Interestingly, creativity and innovation emerged top as the most important skills during COVID-19 across all segments and 70% of respondents expect more work in the future.

The following are the key findings from professionals that participated in the survey:

Employment status of respondents

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Respondents were a good mixture of employed (35%), self-employed (6%), students (4%) and unemployed individuals (56%), thus providing a wide cross section of views across the entire population of the job market. While there were no dramatic differences between professions, ‘Sales and Marketing’ (44%), ‘Customer Support and Client Care’ (38%), ‘Project, Program, Management’ (33%), and ’Accounting, Finance, Banking, Insurance’ (33%) have the highest rates of employment.

Among all respondents, 81% report their industry experiencing decline in business. On the other hand, 14% of the industries have benefited from the pandemic. Consumer-facing industries have been hit the hardest. One can immediately spot the devastating effect on ‘Hotels, Travel, Food and Restaurants’ where 94% of respondents reported decline in business.

Impact on workload across industries

The biggest impact has been on ‘Hotels, Travel, Food and Restaurants’ with 63% of respondents on unpaid leave and none of them reporting ‘No change’. The least impacted professions are arguably ‘Project, Program Management with only 3% of respondents on unpaid leave and ‘Government, Non-Profit’ with 7%.

The impact of COVID-19 has been felt across all professions. Of all the respondents identified as unemployed, 34% lost their employment because of the crisis. The hardest-hit professions work in ‘Customer Support, Client Care’, ‘Hotels, Travel, Food and Restaurants’ and ‘Sales and Marketing’. In all of them, around 50% of the unemployed respondents have lost their job during the crisis.

Highest unemployment rates were reported in:-

  • Hospitality sector (Hotels, Travel, Food, and Restaurants) – 68% unemployed 
  • Government and Non-Profit sector – 66% unemployed
  • Medical and Health sector –  65% unemployed
  • There was a balanced mixture of employed junior and senior professionals – 52% entry-level professionals and 48% senior professionals. Across all seniorities, 14-18% were on unpaid leave while the highest share of 18% was among junior professionals, the smallest (14%) within management.
  • COVID situation had increased the workload for 39% of managers, while the smallest impact was reported in entry and internship level roles (21%). Workload has decreased mostly in the entry and internship level positions (55%) and least in management (42%).

In conclusion, We believe that at the core of our success lies the ability to anticipate and plan for the future. Let’s use these findings to face the future together with a bold, inspiring and energizing vision for our careers as we prepare for the markets to open up.

Download the full report to get insights on professionals’ views on the future of various sectors, the most sought after skills by professionals, and much more. 

This was first posted on Mdundo.

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