Industries shed 30,000 in Covid-19 control measures


Kenya Association of Manufacturers (KAM) chairman Sachen Gudka. FILE PHOTO | NMG

More than 30,000 formal jobs have been lost in the manufacturing sector and 80 percent of the existing jobs are vulnerable as the Covid-19 pandemic continue to bite.

Manufacturers now said the job situation remains grim as the stimulus package the government unveiled takes longer to create the desired impact in the disrupted business environment.

In a report set to be launched today, the jobs assessment which also contains several recommendations on how to keep one of the key pillars of President Kenyatta’s Big Four agenda alive. The retail, agriculture, beverages and textile sectors create the largest number of jobs and contribute up to 60 percent of the manufacturing sector gross domestic product.

Kenya Association of Manufacturers (KAM) chairman Sachen Gudka did not readily disclose details of the report he calls, “a feel on the pulse of the sector”.

The Business Daily had, however, obtained recordings of a webinar Mr Gudka held with Stanbic Bank East Africa regional economist Jibran Qureshi on the effects of the coronavirus on the manufacturing sector in which he gave several preludes to the report planned for launch today.

“Manufacturing sector has about 330,000 direct and three million indirect jobs. We have already lost about 30,000 formal jobs and another 140,000 or so remain vulnerable if the Covid-19 situation persists. There is even bound to be more distress if the current liquidity challenges facing many businesses continue unaddressed,” he said during the one-hour video conference.

The report that KAM worked out together with audit firm KPMG found that between five and eight out of 10 jobs have been impacted by the pandemic with employees working less, taking pay cuts or on the verge of losing their jobs.