Research Findings on Youth Unemployment and Underemployment Situation in Kenya

Youth County Projects Kenya in partnership with Altan Consulting engages in evidence-based programming in order to address youth’s most pressing needs and demonstrate impact in a measurable way.

The two organizations partnered to carry out a research on unemployment and underemployment in Kenya.Click on the link below to check out our survey

Youth County Projects Kenya,a subsidiary of Vijana Network International Limited, was established to avail information on youth projects and opportunities as well as carry out research intended to inform on economic, social and political issues affecting the youth and has a team in the counties who coordinate its programs. Youth County Projects Kenya utilizes the power of the social media and shares information through Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and other forms of social media. Our solutions bridge the knowledge and awareness gap regarding youth projects and opportunities being implemented by The National Government, County Governments, Donor Agencies, Non-Governmental Organizations, Community Based Organizations, Civil Society Organizations, Private Sector and youth aged 18-35 in the 47 counties in Kenya.

Altan consulting is an economic and financial policy advisory consultancy firm. Their focus is on issues where economics, finance and public policy overlap. This is a firm of experts dedicated to applying economic, finance, and quantitative principles to complex business and policy challenges. In addition to their client work, Altan consulting undertakes and supports policy-focused research to promote debate and best practice particularly for the youth. 


Those interviewed were youth aged between 18 and 35 and they were from 16 counties in Kenya; a summary of the results obtained are as follows:

  • On average, most of the youth that we interviewed got rejected from jobs that they applied for.At every stage of job rejection, a psychological process of worrying and depression follows. This leads to a perpetual cycle of stress which makes it difficult to undertake what is important to step up to the requirements of a job of to have the capacity to run a productive entrepreneurship.
  • 29% of the youth stated that the number one issue that was standing in their way of acquiring jobs is the lack of education, experience and appropriate skills – with most referring to the lack of experience ( at 20%) as the greatest impediment to securing an appropriate employment opportunity. The second highest rated impediment was the issues of corruption and nepotism (at 25%). Combined these issues alone accounted for 54% of what the youth considered as major problems.
  • 50% of the participants considered mentorship for employment and entrepreneurship as  a pertinent issue to their career progression. This attests to the fact that many of the youth acknowledge that they require people with better experience to guide them. However, only about 8% acknowledge that this is a primary issue to address today in order to get a job, even less (2%) consider that lack of mentorship is what is standing in their way of securing a job.
  • 52% of the participants attested to the fact that they did not posses the right education to pursue the careers of their dreams. However, only about 30% confirmed their need to obtain appropriate education to get the jobs that they seek. 40% stated that they required to enhance their skill development and eduation to get appropriate jobs. Skill development in the form of job experience and training superseeds the need to enhance education  for most of the youth.
  • Self-development through education, connection, mentorships and experience were  the main solutions considered by 50% of the youth to counter the ailment of joblessness. 11% advocated for better corruption practises to secure jobs ( i.e. if they had the money to buy a job they would have done it). 21% of the youth we interviewed stated categorically that the recruitment process is bogged down with too much corruption and nepotism and that there is need for more accountability and fairness in this process.
  • 45% of the youth stated that they could settle for jobs that give them monthly salary of about $200-$500per month and they believe that they have the skills that it takes to earn this salary. This is indicative of the fact that monetary gains alone are not what inspire the youth, rather personal achievement and careers that are progressing are much more important to them. 86% of the youth are willing to settle for jobs that pay less than $1,000 dollars per month.
  • Approximately 78% of the youth considered the fact that they did not have career counseling in early childhood education as a primary reason for their mismatch to the jobs that they seek. This is closely followed by the lack of mentorship opportunities available as the primary reason (63%). This attests to the fact that education system does not necessarity prepare the youth for the opportunities that are existing in the market that they are coming out to practice in. Information in early childhood education is necessary to prepare them to face the market better, even if it means by means of entrepreneurship. Moreover, entrepreneurship should be encouraged in early child education so that when they are ready to work, i) they will be able to face the market with better expectations ii) they are not dependent on opportunities that will never show iii) they will be better able to setup and continue entrepreneurial practices.

This synopsis of “Youth Unemployment and Underemployment Situation in Kenya” was produced as an authorized excerpt from the full report.
To request for the full report email:



Author: youthcountyprojects

This platform seeks to fill the knowledge and awareness gap regarding youth projects being implemented in the 47 counties in Kenya. It also highlights projects focusing on youth being implemented in 47 counties in Kenya by the national government,county governments,donor agencies,civil society organisations (CSOs),Non Governmental Organisations (NGOs),Donor Agencies,Community Based Organisations (CBOs),private sector and individuals and their impact to the communities. The projects lie within the social pillar,economic pillar and political pillar as enshrined in Vision 2030. Email: Facebook Page: Youth Projects Kenya Twitter : @YouthProjects

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