Support private sector to create quality jobs


A Kenyan welding artisan man commonly known as “JuaKali man” at his workshop along Pumwani road at the Gikomba market, Nairobi on May 25, 2023. PHOTO | BONFACE BOGITA |NMG

Confronted with a high unemployment rate, the government has prioritised job creation under its Bottom-up Economic Transformation Agenda, putting particular emphasis on the numbers.

For instance, President William Ruto has in recent months been talking up the potential of the affordable housing programme to create thousands of jobs for young people with vocational and technical skills.

However, the findings of a new survey by the ILO suggest that the government should begin thinking seriously about the minimum wage and quality of jobs too.

The ILO survey on working poverty found that about 15.3 million or 80 percent of employed Kenyans are living in poverty, implying that their incomes aren’t sufficient to afford them and their families a decent living.

It ranks 26 percent of working Kenyans as extremely poor, 29 percent as moderately poor and 25 percent as near poor. Raising the minimum wage doesn’t appear sustainable under the current economic conditions and would almost certainly meet resistance from employers.

The government should therefore consider creating an enabling environment for the private sector to create quality jobs through policies that reduce the tax burden on employers and workers.

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Note: The results are not exact but very close to the actual.