The difference between Jobs and Job opportunities; Where DP Ruto got it wrong

On Thursday DP Ruto caused a stir when he attempted to explain the number of jobs that Kenyan youth would have benefited with from Jubilee’s Big-4 Housing agenda, had the handshake not interfered, and he ended up doing quite a questionable job of it, since his explanation had glaring inconsistencies that simply didn’t add up.

The DP was speaking on Radio Citizen’s morning show which interviewed him from his Karen residence in an hour long conversation.

William Ruto was expounding on the genesis and progression of the big four agenda, when he decided to concentrate on the housing angle of the four agendas.
Outlining their original vision as Jubilee, the DP said that the Housing pillar of the big-4 agenda was a flagship program.

The DP then went ahead to give a mathematical break down of how exactly the houses would have been of economic benefit in terms of labour.

He said that since each house required about 8 builders, and the plan entailed 500,000 units, then this would have translated to around 4 million jobs.
While this sounds accurate on the surface, the only problem is that this can only be true if the houses were to be built simultaneously across Kenya at the same time, with 4 million construction workers spread across the country building.

The big-4 Housing pillar blueprint had broken down the housing project into phases, which means that the contractor that would have been given the job to construct the houses would have done it phase by phase using the same workers.
If, for instance, the contractor had ten thousand workers, then it’s the same ten thousand workers that would have constructed the 500, 000 units, phase by phase.
Of bigger importance, however, and what the DP missed, is the difference between a job, and job opportunities.

If for instance, a neighbourhood has ten students, then this translates to ten teaching job opportunities. However, it doesn’t necessarily translate to ten jobs, since in all likelihood, these ten students will all be taught by a single teacher.
Job opportunities don’t always have to supersede the number of jobs, and sometimes it can also be the other way around.

If, say, for example, a land Baron has a ten thousand acre ranch, then this piece of land can be said to be a Job opportunity. But at the same time, it will provide thousands of jobs.

A job opportunity is an available slot that requires a good or a service, while a job is more comprehensive, and is basically, a structured routine provision of goods and services over a well defined timeline for well defined remuneration.

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    Written by Joshua Wanga

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