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Tourism worst hit by Covid-19, Survey 

The tourism industry has been the worst hit sector in the Country due to the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic which was first reported in the Country early last year.

The 2021 economic survey released revealed that Kenya’s employment contracted by 4.1 per cent in 2020, with workers in the hotel, transport, and education sector being the worst affected.

According to the Survey, the number of international arrivals declined by 17.5 per cent to 579,600 in 2020, with earnings in the sector declining by 43.9 per cent to Sh91.7 billion in 2020.

Hotel bed occupancy contracted by 58 per cent to 3,803,300 in 2020, the Survey further showed.

The figure, which excludes employment in small-scale agricultural and pastoral activities, dropped from 18.1 million recorded in 2019 to 17.4 million.

This year’s economic survey, which was released by Treasury Cabinet Secretary Ukur Yatani, noted that employment in the hotel sector fell by 38.7 per cent followed by administrative and support service activities, transportation, and education whose figures dropped by 25.0, 21.5, and 20.8 percent respectively.

“The drastic fall could mainly be attributable to public health measures instituted by the Government in containment of the covid-19 pandemic. Some of these measures led to the closure of entertainment businesses and eateries forcing most establishments within the sector to lay off workers,” the survey added.

Wage employment in the modern sector went down by 6.4 per cent while informal sector employment currently stands at 14.5 million jobs, accounting for 83.4 per cent of the total employment.

Manufacturing, agriculture, wholesale and retail trade accounted for the highest wage employment in the private sector with 15.8, 15.1, and 13.5 per cent respectively.

While the private sector wage employment recorded a decline of 10.0 per cent, employment in the public sector, nonetheless registered a slowed growth of 2.2 per cent in 2020 compared to a growth of 2.7 per cent in 2019.

Education had the highest share of employment in the public sector accounting for 43.2 per cent, followed by public administration and defense.

The Survey however  with  the KNBS stating that  the country’s economic growth is projected to grow over six per cent in 2021 after declining by 0.3 per cent in 2020.

The survey noted that the economy was somewhat supported by accelerated growths in construction activities and health services which reported an 11.8 per cent and 6.7 per cent growth rate.

KNBS is the principal agency of the government for collecting, analyzing and disseminating statistical data, and the custodian of official statistical information.

By Alice Gworo

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