In its latest weekly economic report, Al-Shall Consultancy, a leading financial advisory and business consultancy firm in Kuwait, noted that there was a sharp increase in the number of domestic workers at the end of the first-quarter of 2023, relative to their numbers at the end of first-quarter a year ago.

The Consultancy said that the increase in domestic workers ran counter to the government’s plans to bring about a better demographic balance in the country. The report added that the domestic workers currently account for over a quarter of the total expatriate population in Kuwait.

Citing figures from the Central Administration of Statistics, the report stated that as of the end of the first-quarter on 31 March 2023, there were a total of 780,000 domestic workers, an increase of 27.2 percent from the 613,000 workers at the end of the first-quarter of 2022 (FQ-2022).

A gender- and nationality-wise breakdown shows that of the total domestic workers, 423,000 were female workers and 357,000 were male. Out of the 10 nationalities that are employed as domestic workers, four nationalities, India, the Philippines, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, accounted for about 94.6 percent of the total domestic workers.

Other highlights from the weekly report include that the average monthly wage for Kuwaitis of both sexes in the government and private sectors increased from KD1504 in FQ-2022 to KD1,538 dinars in FQ-2023, while it decreased to KD337 on average for non-Kuwaitis from the KD342 at the end of FFQ-2022. The report added that the figures did not include wages of domestic workers, which would have sharply reduced the average wage rate of all non-Kuwaitis, nor did it include the employment support given for Kuwaitis working in the private sector.

The report also indicated that the number of Kuwaiti workers in the government sector increased to about 373,000 at the end of 1Q-2023, a rise of 3 percent from the 362,000 workers by the same period a year earlier, which was contrary to the policy of reducing and streamlining the public sector. Meanwhile the number of Kuwaiti workers in the private sector reached nearly 71,700 by March of this year, down by a 1,000 workers from the 72,700 registered by end of FQ-2022.

The total number of workers in both sectors of the labor market reached 2.07 million at the end of FQ-2023, marking an increase of nearly 10 percent from the 1.89 million workers at the end of FQ-2022, without counting the increase in domestic workers.

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