Kenya is characterised by a labour market that includes household based enterprises, subsistence agriculture and a small wage sector. The country’s labour force is estimated at 20,249,800 persons, with an estimated 23.7 percent of the population engaged in wage employment. Figure 2.27 shows the national outlook of wage employment in Kenya.
Figure 2.27: Proportion of the population in wage employment nationally
As indicated in figure 2.28, the majority of the country’s population is engaged in agriculture (32.0 percent) on family owned land while 7.7 percent have no work. People working in urban areas are 2.4 times more likely to get paid than their rural counterparts. Most people in rural areas (44 percent) work on family agricultural holdings without pay. Urban areas also have more people without work than in ruralareas.
Figure 2.28 : Employment by occupation nationally and by rural/urban
Figure 2.29: Proportion of the population that works for pay and those who do not work by county
The proportion of people working for pay in Nairobi County is 8 times more than the proportion of people working for pay in Wajir and Turkana Counties. Wajir and Turkana are also among the counties with the highest proportion of their populations without work as shown in figure 2.29. As expected they are among the poorest Kenya.