Kenya has recorded a 58% drop in the number of jobs advertised since the first case of COVID-19 was recorded in the country on 13th March 2020. This is according to a report by job listing company BrighterMonday.

“The Covid-19 pandemic has hit the employment sector hard across the world with job losses being recorded in millions. The Kenyan job market has not been spared by the scourge. There has been a drop in the number of jobs advertised on BrighterMonday and other job aggregators as Covid-19 took hold and lockdown measures were implemented,” says Mr. Emmanuel Mutuma, Chief Executive Officer, BrighterMonday Kenya.

“Many positions in the travel and hospitality sectors were frozen in the first weeks when the virus hit Kenya. Other sectors soon followed with most companies laying off their employees and others sending them on unpaid leave,” he adds.

According to the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS), over one million people in Kenya lost their jobs due to companies closing or businesses downsizing to survive the economic downturn brought about by the pandemic. In some instances, sectors like the hospitality and travel industries have faced total shutdowns, forcing companies to send their staff home on unpaid leave or layoffs.

As expected, the biggest gainers were in essential services such as healthcare and safety at 700 percent, trade and services at 327 percent, agriculture and farming at 170 percent, quality assurance and control at 113 percent, among others. Unlike other markets, job opportunities in property and real estate increased by 125 percent. This has been attributed to people disposing of property in an effort to maintain liquidity. Working remotely also gained a lot of ground in the past few months.

Hospitality and travel and building and architecture industries were most hit with the cessation of movement and gathering restrictions recording a drop of 47 percent and 75 percent respectively. Consulting and strategy services dropped by 20 percent while Community and Social Services, and Project and Product Management dropped by 36 percent and 37 percent respectively.

Industries that showed minimal decline include creative and design, marketing and communication, legal services, human resources and administration among others.

In April, BrighterMonday Kenya launched a campaign dubbed ‘Unity In Adversity’ that offers free job listing services for individuals or companies seeking to hire as the country battles the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.