President Uhuru Kenyatta has reviewed the country’s minimum wage to 12 percent for the first time in three years, in an effort to cushion workers against further erosion of their purchasing power, in the wake of a ballooning cost of living.
“….. in full appreciation of the critical contribution of workers to the economy; following the recommendation of various stakeholders; as a caring Government, we find that there is a compelling case to review the minimum wages so as to cushion our workers against further erosion of their purchasing power while also guaranteeing the competitiveness of our economy,” the President said in his speech during the Labour Day celebrations.
The last time the country’s minimum wage was reviewed was in 2019 and the current minimum wage is Sh13,572. The revised 12 percent increment will increase Kenya’s minimum wage to at least 15,200 both in the private and public sectors.
The revised minimum wage takes effect immediately and should therefore reflect in May’s payslip.
President Kenyatta further lauded the role and resilience of workers in bolstering the country’s efforts to bounce back and build stronger after the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Our workers are the backbone of our economy and our way of life. Throughout the Covid-19 disruptions that began in the year 2020, our workers have kept the Kenyan flame burning bright. For that, we will remain forever grateful and indebted to them,” the President said.
Cost of Living
The cost of living has been on the rise with inflation ranging between 5 to 6 percent annually.
A recent report ranked Nairobi among the 15 most expensive cities to live in Africa based on their cost of living according to Statista’s cost of living index.
Kenya’s capital city ranked in position 15 with a cost of living index score of 38.51.
The 2021 cost of living index by Statista explores the cost of living across cities in Africa and compares the expected average costs of basic necessities such as food, clothing, entertainment and healthcare.
Nairobi Among African cities with Highest Cost of Living