Employment Creation Potential for Youth in the Kenyan Economy

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Onsomu, Eldah
Munga, Boaz
Nyabaro, Violet
Munene, Bonface
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Job creation is a key development objective for most economies, Kenya included. However, expansion of employment opportunities has not kept pace with the rapidly expanding working age population. The main objective of this study was to evaluate the sectors with high potential of creating employment opportunities for the youths in Kenya. The study utilized Input-Output approach using Social Accounting Matrix (SAM) 2015 to determine sectors with highest job creation potential. The findings indicate that agriculture, transport, trade, construction, and education have the highest potential to create jobs for the youth. The employment multipliers were as follows: agriculture (2.1); transport (1.74); trade (1.89); construction (1.84); and education (1.85). Activities with high potential to create jobs include livestock, vegetables (horticulture), rice production, textile and footwear production, and hotels and restaurants. Further, the results imply that the sectors of the Kenyan economy are interdependent and diverse, spanning agriculture, services, and manufacturing. Expansion of one sector has backward and forward linkages with the other sectors. It would, therefore, be important to adopt a comprehensive multisectoral approach in job creation strategy for the country. There is great opportunity to create jobs by supporting further developments in agriculture and services sectors and putting in place robust strategies to enhance investments in manufacturing.
Economic sectors; Youth employment potential; Constraints; Kenya.