The outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic has left a clear imprint on the local reality by reversing the trend of the national labor census in the private sector because it no longer attracts the citizens for reasons well-known to them by recording a slight decline in their numbers in 2020 compared to the previous year, while at the same time offsetting this decrease by an increase in the government sector.

In the last “statistical overview” issued by the Central Administration of Statistics (CAS), 2020 recorded a decrease in the number of national workers in the private sector, by 534 jobs, recording 73,303 jobs, compared to 73,837 in 2019, compared to an increase of 8,442 jobs in the government sector, by 323,358 jobs, compared to 314,916 in 2019. This is inconsistent with the government direction which is working to encourage citizens to take up jobs in the private sector.

CAS said “the increasing growth of the Kuwaiti economy has led to the emergence of many different job opportunities, and has resulted in an increase in the demand for national and expatriate workforce.” The statistics show Kuwaitis rush to take up jobs in the government because they feel secure, especially in light of the economic effects the pandemic had on the economy when several workers lost their jobs in the private sector, in addition to ‘flexible and effortless’ working hours in the government, in addition to the government’s orientation towards e-services to complete transactions.

However, the government replacement policy (to replace expatriates with Kuwaitis) put breaks in the exodus of foreign workers into Kuwait, the pace of which increased after the pandemic which had its own repercussions on the economy. The number of expats froze to 3,099,350 arrivals in 2020.

Statistics revealed a decrease in their number in the two sectors, especially in the private sector, with the loss of 30,288 jobs, as the number of employment reached 1,624,835 employees, compared to 1,655,123 employees in 2019, while the decrease was slight in the government sector, with only 203 jobs, to record 73,303 jobs in 2020, compared to 730,837 in 2019.

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