Kenya hit by jobs slowdown for the first time in 4 years
The Kenyan economy lost its job creation momentum for the first time in four years, even as large numbers of previously employed individuals joined the labour market in wake of staff retrenchments that dominated Corporate Kenya in 2016.
Official data released yesterday shows that the economy created 832,900 new formal and informal sector jobs in 2016, down from 841,600 a year earlier. It was the first time the economy has spun fewer jobs in a year since the Jubilee government came to power in 2013.
“The number of new jobs created decelerated in the review period,” said Zachary Mwangi, the director-general at the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS).
The economy’s jobs creation momentum has grown steadily from 750,000 four years ago to nearly one million in 2015, before declining to last year’s 832,900.
Manufacturers risk jail term for using goods in campaign
The Kenya Bureau of Standards has said it will crack down on manufacturers portraying political campaign materials on their products, adding that offenders risk a Ksh1 million fine. The agency said alcoholic beverages and water have particularly been affected by the practice which is noted denies consumers mandatory information on the products contrary to law.
The law stipulates that the name of product, date of manufacture, expiry date, handling requirements and active ingredient information be indelibly and legibly displayed on the goods.
“It is an offence under the Standards Act cap 496 Laws of Kenya to manufacture or sell products that do not meet the requirements of the relevant Kenya standards,” said the notice by Kebs.
Product labels are designed to provide consumers with information necessary to help them make informed choices. Kebs notes that having the political campaign material on the various products compromises safety.
Domestic headwinds hit 2017 growth prospects
Kenya’s economy is increasingly facing domestic headwinds which are threatening 2017 growth unlike previous years when external shocks have been the biggest threat, a report by the state statistician says.
The country has a standing two-year $1.5 billion facility from the International Monetary Fund on standby to cushion against unforeseen external shocks, mainly on the shilling. The facility, renewed last month, was first signed in November 2014. Treasury has insisted the loan can only be tapped if the country faces “exogenous shocks”.
Domestic challenges are, however, threatening to cool the steam in the economy more than external shocks, the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics has warned in the 2017 Economic Survey published on Wednesday.
They include a biting drought that has hit the country since the last quarter of 2016, affecting farming, electricity generation and water supply.
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