Years of diminishing work opportunities which has been exacerbated by pandemic wracked economy is leaving millions of unemployed Kenyans no longer interested in searching for jobs.
The Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) data has revealed that roughly 1.23 million out of the total of 2.49 million jobless Kenyans aged between 15 and 64 and who qualify for jobs are not actively searching for gainful work.
The data, which covers the three-month period ended March this year also shows that the bulk of those who have given up on employment are the youth aged between 20 and 24 at 363,018.
Additionally, a total of 232,146 young people aged between 25 and 29 are also no longer actively looking for jobs, KNBS data shows.
Fresh graduates from universities and colleges are also facing it very rough owing to their perceived mismatch between skills and the available job openings.
Since Covid-19 struck early last year, many employers in Kenya have gone slow on hiring even as companies froze expansion plans while also encouraging their lean workforce to work from home.
According to the Central Bank of Kenya latest survey on business leaders across Kenya, company CEOs have concerns about continued uncertainties over the pandemic, the impact of increased taxes on businesses as well as heightened political activities, factors that may dampen the prospects of creating employment.
The Kenya Economic Survey 2021 noted that 730,000 jobs were lost last year owing to pandemic related disruptions on the economy.
Overall, hospitality, transport, entertainment and education sectors were the worst hit owing to containment measures adopted to check the spread of Covid-19 for long periods.