Wednesday, November 24, 2010

casualisation in Kenya

Millions of Kenyan youths joined the ranks of the working poor in the past five years as employers turned to temporary or contractual jobs to cut costs – stalling the social progress that usually comes with employment. Since the country embarked on economic liberalisation in the early 1990s data shows that deregulation deepened in the past five years resulting in a steep rise in the number of part-time, contract, and out-sourced workers.

Temporary employment, which comes without key benefits such as pension, health insurance or access to loan facilities, has left the majority of young people either underemployed or underpaid locking them up in the bottom quarter of the social pyramid, according to the Institute of Economic Affairs, a Nairobi-based think tank.

The proportion of casual workers in the formal sector of the economy increase gradually from 17.9 per cent in 2000 to 32.2 per cent last year. underemployed or poorly paid employees often become incapable of starting families, providing their children with good healthcare or educating their off-spring.

“The danger is that unemployment or underemployment is extending the burden of dependency on parents, diminishing self-esteem fuelling frustrations and making crime an attractive option,” said Mr Githongo.

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