Africa

740,000 Kenyans lose jobs in 2021 amid pandemic

Kenya’s economy was adversely affected by pandemic, says treasury minister

Andrew Wasike   | 09.09.2021
740,000 Kenyans lose jobs in 2021 amid pandemic

NAIROBI, Kenya

At least 740,000 people in Kenya lost jobs as the country’s economy contracted due to the COVID-19 pandemic, effecting various key sectors, a government report said on Thursday.

“In 2020, Kenya’s economy was adversely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic resulting in significant slowed down economic activities,” said Treasury Minister Ukur Yatani, who released the report.

Yatani said the government's priority was to safeguard citizens’ lives cushioning the economy from the effects of COVID-19.

“The restriction in movements and social distancing led to disruption in labor supply, leading to reduced demand for goods and services,” he said, noting that the number of employed people in Kenya dropped to 17.4 million from 18.1 million, a decline never recorded before in the country.

Yatani said that the government is currently focusing on the implementation of the Economic Recovery Strategy (ERS) that aims to restore the economy to a strong growth path, creating jobs and economic opportunities across all regions of the country with a view to tackling social and income inequalities.

Some 501 people tested positive for COVID-19 in Kenya over the past 24 hours, taking the total number of cases in the country to 242,284, according to health authorities.

The death toll from the virus in the country rose to 4,864 as 34 more patients died over the past day.

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