Kenyans go into Christmas jobless, future unknown

•Job losses have hit nearly all sectors of the economy from commercial banks to insurance firms, manufacturing to telecommunication firms

•KNBS data shows a total of 840,000 new jobs were created last year, a decline from 897,000 jobs created in 2017 Mobicom employees demonstrate outside NSSF offices at Milimani over sudden and unlawful layoffs by their employer on August 2 2019 A large number of Kenyans won’t be splurging on Christmas shopping, rather having to tighten their wallets as they survive on savings before they land their next job.

2019 has seen more than 7,000 workers lose their jobs owing to a tough economic environment as a result of a number of factors including, poor policies and low access to credit by the private sector and government’s failure to pay their dues on time

At the beginning of December, 19 employees left insurer Sanlam following the firm’s implementation of its voluntary early retirement (VER) and redundancy programme.

The layoff plan which targeted staff above 50 years saw the initial sign up of 20 staff members drawn from various cross functions within the organisation.

Sanlam follows a growing list of private entities in the country opting to get rid of dead weight in the form of layoffs to try and salvage their enterprises and remain profitable at a tumultuous time.

Job losses have hit nearly all sectors of the economy from commercial banks to insurance firms, manufacturing to telecommunication firms. Even the media has not been spared from mass sackings.

While disruptions driven by technology in all these sectors have also led to a significant number of layoffs, the rising rate of job cuts in the country may be a clear indicator that while the economy is growing on paper, things are terribly different on the ground.


During the year more than 10 firms, both state-owned and private organisations, announced they would be sacking staff, either through a voluntary layoff plan or while announcing plans to close down.

Among them was Air Afrik, which announced it would retrench 200 workers from Kenya and Sudan following massive losses. The airline suffered a Sh2.1 billion loss in leasing contracts.One of the hardest-hitting losses this year might have been the shutting down of Kenya’s largest players in sports betting firms as a result of continuous tussles with the government over tax regulations.SportPesa, closed its Kenyan business, sending home at least 400 workers and leaving others, especially companies dependent […]

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