At least 2000 workers have lost their jobs since July, and many more companies have announced intentions of getting rid of hundreds of workers before the end of the year.
SportPesa, Andela, Betin, Ola Energy, Sanlam, East African Portland Cement, Telkom Kenya, Stambic Bank of Kenya and East African Breweries Limited (EABL) announced job cuts and more likely to follow.
Kenya is one of the fastest growing countries in Africa, but this new development has been attributed to challenges of drought that often hit several parts of the country.
Economists attribute the trend to post-election violence and disputes over polls which have resulted into investors scaling down investments in the country, which hurts the economy.
Tough regulations on gambling companies coming with new taxes have also affected their operations leading to lay-offs with others announcing closure of business until a “non hostile regulatory environment” returns.
At the start of this month, SpotPesa and Betin directly employing more than 2500 threatened to close business completely if the new regulations stay. The regulations include a 20% tax on betting stakes.
However, in April 2019 a World Bank report showed that Kenya’s GDP would grow by 5.7% in 2019, and projected a 5.9% rise in growth in 2020.
Analysts say policy blunders including over-reliance on external borrowing, corruption and availability of cheap imports has made the situation worse. They say, job cuts suggest that the economy is not growing fast to absorb millions of young people who graduate from universities annually.