Business News

KNBS| Over 700k Kenyans Lost Jobs in 2020, Economic Survey 2021 Reveals

A most recent economic survey has indicated that over 700,000 Kenyans lost their jobs in 2020, following the Covid-19 pandemic, that is still causing aches.

Released on Thursday, September 9, by the National Treasury Cabinet Secretary, Ukur Yatani, the 2021 Economic Survey has shown the total employment drop, from  18.1 million jobs, to 17.4 million, in 2020.

Further, the report revealed that total employment outside small scale agriculture and pastoralist activities contracted by 4.1%

For the period of analysis, the formal sector accounted for 2.9 million jobs.

Employment in the various sectors of the econSomy was adversely affected by containment measures instituted to curb the spread of Covid-19.

As modern-day institutions tried to stay afloat, private sector employment shrunk from 70.5% in 2019 to 67.7% in 2020, with 187,000 jobs lost.

The private sector saw its wage bill reduced from Ksh 1.6 trillion, to Ksh 1.5 trillion by cutoffs.

The blue collar sector lost about half a million jobs, from 15 million to 14.5 million.

According to Yatani, Kenya’s economy growth declined by 0.3% in 2020, down from 5% in the previous year.


The trade volume dropped from Ksh 2.29 trillion in 2020, with import value at Ksh 1.64 trillion, while the total export was Ksh 0.64 trillion.

The merchandise trade had a deficit, from Ksh 1.806 trillion in 2019, to Ksh. 1.643 trillion in 2020.

The financial sector showed a growth of 5.6% in 2020, compared to 2019’s 6.9%.


This has bee one backbone sector for Kenya’s economy, and saw an income of Ksh 91.7 billion, a 43.9%  decrease.

The massive loss  is associated with the Covid-19 measures that hindered international arrivals, and saw a decline to 579,600 in 2020, a 71.5% decrease.

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