Lucrative public, private sector industries pay staff over Sh1m

Industries in the private sector that paid workers above Sh1 million on average were electricity, gas, steam and air conditioning supply. [iStockphoto]

The accommodation and food service industry in the public sector, financial and insurance activities were some of the most rewarding industries for employees in 2022, with average annual wages of more than Sh1 million.

According to the data from the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) other well paying jobs were activities of extra-territorial organisations and bodies, transportation and storage industry, and human health and social work activities.

In 2022, the average annual earnings for an employee in the accommodation and food service activities in the public sector were Sh2,642,491 for a monthly average of Sh220,208, making the industry one of the most lucrative in the private and public sectors. By contrast, the average earnings for a worker in the same industry but in the private sector was Sh468,448, a fifth of their peers’ in the public sector.

A resurgent accommodation and food services industry paid a whopping Sh57.93 billion to its employees in 2022, up from Sh46.38 billion in 2021, data from the KNBS shows. After what seemed like a slow recovery in 2021 following the Covid-19 scare, the industry seems poised to pay even higher in 2023.

The average annual wage for employees in the transportation and storage industry in the public sector was Sh2,258,809. In the private sector, employees in the same industry took home an average of Sh1,622,565.

Annual average for people working in the financial and insurance activities in the private sector is Sh2,179,416.  [iStockphoto]

In the private sector, activities of extraterritorial organizations and bodies continued to yield the best pay of any industry, with an annual average of Sh3,904,185. This means that on average, employees pocketed Sh325,349 every month, which exceeded the annual average earnings for employees in the water supply, sewerage, waste management and remediation activities, of Sh312,232 in 2022.

Marginally higher

The annual average for people working in the financial and insurance activities in the private sector was Sh2,179,416, just marginally higher than for employees in the same industry but in the private sector, which was Sh2,112,415.

Other industries in the private sector that paid workers above Sh1 million on average were electricity, gas, steam and air conditioning supply (Sh2,188,154), information and communication (Sh1,216,964), professional, scientific and technical activities (Sh1,571,535) and administrative and support service activities (Sh1,811,602).

Others in the same category are education (Sh1,044,829) and human health and social work activities (Sh1,141,859).

Construction paid an annual average wage of Sh793,248, mining and quarrying paid Sh704,560 and manufacturing, which was one of the biggest employers but which yet again failed to hit double digits for contribution to the GDP, paid an average of Sh617,636 to its employees.

In the same sector, agriculture, forestry and fishing only offered average annual earnings of Sh398,777 which, albeit higher than previous years’, were still some of the lowest of any sector. The monthly average, we can deduce, was Sh33,231.

Real estate’s annual wage earnings’ average was Sh339,095 and arts, entertainment, and recreation, which the current regime seeks to prioritize as the creative industry is primed to contribute more to the economy, paid an average wage of Sh823,930 in the year.

Real estate’s annual wage earnings average was Sh339,095. [File, Standard]

In the public sector, the 2022 annual average pay for an employee was Sh1,067,482, nearly Sh450,000 higher than in the private sector. Electricity, gas, steam, and air conditioning supply paid Sh1,555,621, wholesale and retail trade; repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles Sh1,117,514, professional, scientific and technical activities Sh1,448,470 and human health and social work activities Sh1,811,187.

The total average for the private sector for 2022 was Sh875,801 while the public sector’s was Sh842,873.

In 2022, the leading industries providing wage employment in the private sector were manufacturing, agriculture, forestry and fishing, and wholesale and retail trade and repair of motor vehicles, accounting for 15.9, 14.4 and 12.8 per cent of the total private sector employment respectively.

In 2022, according to the Economic Survey of 2023 released by KNBS, total employment outside small-scale agriculture and pastoral activities was 19.1 million, up from 18.3 million recorded in 2021. “Employment in the informal sector rose by 4.6 per cent to 16 million jobs. Wage employment in the private sector recorded a growth of 4.8 per cent in 2021 to 2.08 million jobs in 2022.”

“Within the public sector, wage employment increased from 923,100 jobs in 2021 to 937,900 jobs in 2022. The nominal wage bill for both private and public sectors increased from Sh2.40 trillion in 2021 to Sh2.61 trillion in 2022.”

The private sector wage bill went up by 10.7 per cent to Sh 1,819.7 billion in 2022, while the public sector wage bill rose by 4 per cent to Sh790.4 billion over the same period.

The share of county government wage payments to the total public sector was 23.9 per cent in 2022. Nominal average earnings in the modern sector per person increased from Sh827,300 per annum in 2021 to Sh865,600 per annum in 2022.


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