Joblessness in Kenya is not news anymore. However, documenting this same reality in important government surveys like the results of the 2019 Census, makes the case more eerie.
The finer details of this Census show that 39 percent of the Kenyan youth or 5.3 million of them are looking for jobs and have given up altogether. Indeed, it is worth noting that such a population is not keen on decent jobs anymore, for example working in specialisations they studied in school. They just want to make ends meet.
According to the Census results, those aged 35 years and above have jobs to the tune of 91 percent, meaning they are the people supporting the more energetic youth, who should be carrying the bigger burden of supporting the heavy weight of the economy now growing at slightly above six percent.
Worse, while 1.6 million Kenyans aged between 18 and 34 years were looking for employment, up to 3.7 million others within the same bracket have given up. It is important for the State to ask itself what this big number was up to. But the case could get more interesting with 22.9 million below 17 years, showing more millions will hit 18 years soon.
Among Kenya’s problems, unemployment gives millions sleepless nights, and it should be the State’s headache to think outside the box and deliver the jobs by focusing on what can deliver the said jobs.