Report Reveals Multibillion Sector Hiring More Kenyans as Employment Rates Rise

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The construction industry emerged as the most potent economic sector in April 2024,  having yielded the most employment opportunities, the latest Stanbic Purchasing  Managers Index (PMI) showed.

According to the PMI, hiring growth was most evident in the construction sector. This was even as the rate of job creation across all economic sectors picked up slightly since March.

“Kenyan businesses increased their workforces for the fourth consecutive month in April. Recruitment was linked to both current workloads and efforts to boost sales,” the PMI read in part.

According to the PMI, levels of outstanding work among Kenyan firms became higher in April.

“April and March marked the first back-to-back growth in eight months, although the rate of expansion remained weak. Outstanding contracts increased most in the construction sector,” further read the PMI.

A photo of a storey building under construction in the Pangani area, Nairobi County

Photo

Nairobi County

Kenya’s PMI stood at 50.1 in April which was an increase from the 49.7 posted in March with the increase signalling broad stabilisation in operating conditions in the country.

Data shared by the World Bank indicated that the sector contributed about 7 per cent to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2022 with the sector poised to cross the Ksh1 trillion mark in 2024.

Per the Stanbic Bank report, the construction sector also had the most outstanding contracts which resulted in a backlog that meant a need for more qualified workers.

“With confidence in the outlook returning, companies raised their employment numbers for the fourth month running during April. The rate of job creation picked up slightly since March but remained below the survey trend,” read part of the report.

The construction sector was also one of the two sectors that recorded an increase in input costs within the period under review. The other sector was agriculture.

Despite the increase in job creation and recruitment, the construction sector had lower staff costs compared to other sectors. The high staff costs in other sectors were signalled by the seasonally adjusted Staff Costs Index rising above the 50.0 neutral threshold.

Christopher Legilisho, an economist at the bank remarked that the heavy rains experienced in the past months will result in a slow growth in quarter two of the year.

Legilisho added that the private sector was optimistic about growth in the next 12 months adding that the growth will be mostly evident in the services sector.

Ahero Town residents rescue a cow from floods on May 5, 2024.

Photo

Cyprian Nyakundi



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