Overview of Kenya
Population- 54.68 million
GDP: 101 billion USD (FY21)
As per the reports of the Kenyan Statistical Institute, the economy of Kenya shrank by 1.1% in the last quarter of 2020 but is expected to grow at 5.1% in the year 2021. The Kenyatta government has pledged to make development and economic growth a purpose of his administration.
The primary market of Kenya is related to agricultural goods and animal husbandry, which accommodate almost 75% of its working-age population with a seasonal part-time job. The government has taken many steps to increase foreign companies and foreign investments to generate employment. The expected economic growth of 5.1% is a good sign for the absorption of the Kenyan population seeking jobs. Moreover, many steps have been taken to improve the manufacturing and service sector infrastructure to generate employment.
A Brief Glimpse of Industries
The major export partners of Kenya are Uganda, the U.S., and Pakistan. The main export is valued at almost USD 10 billion. The major export products include crops, fruits, flowers, coffee, and vegetables. Other significant exports include cement, soda ash, and dairy products. The government is also actively looking to expand trade routes to the Americas, Asia, and Europe.
- Kenya has started to invest in the manufacturing and services sector in the past few years. A considerable part of investments goes to the IT industry, tourism, health, infrastructure, and trading.
- The major import partners of Kenya are China and India. The import value is around USD 18 billion. The import products include machinery, transport equipment, petroleum products, and chemical products.
- Kenya is home to one of the rarest and most exciting species of flora and fauna in the world. Tourism is one of the major sources of foreign direct investment and exchange. It all moves around wildlife sanctuaries and national parks.
- Most industries are small-scale industries, and they deal in consumer-related goods like plastics, soaps, and clothing. A lot of the population is employed in such industries generating a regular source of income. The transportation system is also sufficient but developing at a great rate.
- Another aspect of economic development is related to improving its energy resources. The government is also encouraging companies and the service sector to introduce policies that support flexible employment terms.
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Cost of Living
The cost of living in a country depends on various factors such as which city the person lives in, the type of industry dominant in that area, state revenue, facilities, and much more. Location is the main factor that determines the cost of living. The following table gives an insight into the cost of living in Kenya.
||Area of Expense
||Estimated Monthly Cost (USD)
||Hostels, PGs, Shared flats, and single accommodation
||$60 ~ $500
|Food and beverage
||Household groceries and House helps
||$55 ~ $150
||Bus train and metro
||$25 ~ $60
|Utilities and miscellaneous
||water, electricity, gas, wi-fi, telephone
||$100 ~ $450
Cost of Renting:
The average cost of renting in Kenya is USD 100-400 per month. This all varies depending on your location, type of accommodation, eating habits, and lifestyle. The cost of living in Kenya is 1.7 times less than living in the United States.
Your cost of living in Kenya depends on your location:
The cost of living varies significantly in different cities in Kenya. There is a tier-wise bifurcation of cities. Tier 1 cities have higher salaries; hence higher are the living costs. Tier 2 and tier 3 cities have different salary statistics and cost of living based on their respective economic output.
- All the metropolitan and major cities come under Tier 1 status. The cost of living here is the highest in the whole nation. For example, Nairobi and Mombasa.
- Some cities are known as New Tier 1 towns. These are emerging capital cities that have a very high rate of growth. Kajiado, Machakos, and Kisumu are some examples of new Tier 1 towns;
- Interestingly, Tier 2 cities are the ones that are the capital cities of a province or even almost all big cities with a decent economic growth level. Nandi Hills, Malaba, and Kakuma are classic examples.
- Lastly, the cities in the Tier 3 category are much smaller than the Tier 2 cities. These cities have minor economic growth and lower cost of living.
|Tier of the city
||Salary in (USD)
||Cost of Living in (USD)
||Rent in (USD)
|Cities classified as Tier 1
||$70 ~ $600
|Newer Tier 1 Cities
||$100 ~ $250
||$90 ~ $200
||$60 ~ $300
||$250 ~ $850
||$70 ~ $160
||$50 ~ $250
||Growth Percentage in terms of hiring and revenue
||Software/Hardware & IT
Top Skills in Kenya
Jobs in Kenya are mainly dependent on agricultural produce and have a very standard market. There are plenty of job opportunities at the entry-level for software developers, IT workers, and tourism freshers. Experienced and industry experts excel in senior-level positions in multinational corporations. Different cities have different types of skills based on the dominant occupation in that city.
Major industries hiring the most in Kenya include:
- Animal Husbandry
- IT/ Software Development
- Trade market
|Nairobi and Mombasa are two major cities with the most jobs in the service sector, and most companies have their headquarters in these two cities. Nairobi is the main financial hub of Kenya.
Export and Import
| Malindi, Mombasa, and Kilifi
Shipping and delivery
Loading and packaging of products
|Nairobi and Mombasa
- Bank Managers
- Chief executive officers
- Chief financial officers
|Kitui and Naivasha
|Amboseli and Masai Mara
- Food business
- Hotel and Tourism companies
- Travel agencies
The cost of hiring is an essential factor to consider while employing people. It depends on various other factors, such as the cost of living in the city and the overall expenditure that a person bears while residing in the respective city. When you go to hire someone in a particular city, several important things affect the cost of hiring, such as:
- Onboarding costs
- The cost incurred in taking interviews, conducting the screening process, and completing the hiring
- Opportunity costs
Salary structure for various roles
The following table reflects the average annual salary drawn by employees of various sectors in Kenyan Shillings:
||Average monthly gross salary by survey (in KES)
|Agro and Food Industry
|Arts & Culture
|Construction & Real Estate
|Finance and Economics
|Education, and R&D
|Journalism & Media
|Marketing and Advertising
|Technology and AI Development
|Textile, Apparel and Shoe industry
|Tourism, Food and Hotel Business
|Medicine and healthcare
Employment Laws in Kenya
The Employment Act (Cap. 226) and the Regulation of Wages and Conditions of Employment Act (Cap. 229) give rules governing wages, leave and rest, health and safety, the special position of children and women, and termination of employment.
- The Employment Act does not guarantee any wages in general. The minimum wages and salaries are judged by another law, regulation of wages, and conditions of employment act
- The legal framework has moved towards more flexible employment policies and gender equality codes.
Kenya Remote Hiring Trends 2022
Growth in Hiring Activity
Data has shown that remote and technology work in Africa has risen by a staggering 800%, creating a significant pool of skilled workers in various industries.
As economies in cities like Nairobi strengthen and evolve, the skills and talents of candidates continue to improve. If you are seeking talent for your business, Kenya is one of the countries in which you should start searching.
Top Companies Hiring in Kenya 2022
In 2022, some of the top companies hiring in Kenya include:
- Safaricom (Cable, Internet & Telephone Providers)
- KPMG (Business Consulting)
- Deloitte (Accounting & Tax)
- PwC (Accounting & Tax)
- EY (Accounting & Tax)
Many more companies like the ones presented are considered to be some of the best employers in Kenya in 2022. This is due to fair employee treatment and how well their companies are managing amidst the shift towards remote work positions. It is an important hiring trend to cater to the employee experience.
Top In-Demand Skills and Titles in Kenya
These job titles include but are not limited to:
- Software Engineers
- Executive Assistants
- Remote SAS Programmers
- Statistical Programmers
- Contract Assessors
Other jobs in the fields of technology, tourism, agriculture, real estate, and transport are also in high demand. With these current trends in mind, you can build a sound recruitment strategy to hire the best remote talent for your business.
How Can Skuad Help You With Hiring in Kenya?
Hiring in Kenya is a multi-faceted task requiring in-depth knowledge of the laws, trends, hiring costs, living costs city-wise, and more. Skuad comes onboard as a one-stop solution handling every minute aspect of recruitment. It gives you the freedom and time to focus on your project and expansion plans without any hiring stress. Connect with Skuad Experts to know more.