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Why Kenyans Are Chasing Multiple Jobs Amid Pandemic

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The majority of Kenyans have opted to pursue multiple income streams in a bid to repair their financial difficulties they have been plunged into by the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to a new report published by the Standard Chartered Bank on Monday, September 14, 93 per cent of surveyed Kenyans indicated they would set up a second income stream.

The quest to juggle multiple jobs comes on the back of a significant hit to personal finances with Kenyans all over absorbing the largest shocks seen in the region from the pandemic.

Kenyans lining up outside an office for job applications. Source: File

For instance, 65 per cent of Kenyans indicate they are earning less than they did prior to the pandemic while more than half the respondents expect the pandemic to further damage their income and weaken their chances of employment.

Moreover, 63 per cent of Kenyans have reported increased borrowing- the highest of any market surveyed while 72 per cent having trimmed their savings.

Kenyans are however displaying the will to adapt to the changing environment including the motivating urge to take on more work hours for enhanced pay.

Further, the country has topped rankings with the highest number of individuals seeking to better manage finances and spending.

“Kenya was also the most entrepreneurial nation with 85 per cent considering starting a new business to increase their earnings in the next six months. Kenya’s millennials and generation Z are also much more likely than their global peers to respond to the crisis by starting a new business; 87 per cent of those aged 18 and 44 would consider doing so in the next six months, compared to 52 percent globally,” noted Standard Chartered Head of Retail Banking in Kenya & East Africa Edith Chumba.

The quest to hold multiple job placements under the current economic environment will however be anywhere but easy.

Continued redundancies in firms that grew sporadically as early as last year alongside the collapse of businesses and in particular small and medium enterprises (SMEs) has made jobs even harder to come by.

While the government has since eased COVID-19 restrictions by partly re-opening the economy, the private sector has continued to cut jobs as companies pursue lower operational costs.

According to data from the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) second quarter labour force report, the country’s unemployment rate doubled from 5.2 to 10.4 per cent between April and June as another 1,716,604 Kenyans were rendered jobless.

Combined, a total of 1,920,443 Kenyans lost their jobs between January and June this year.

Kenyans seated outside an office facility. Source: File

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