According to the latest data released by the Central Department of Statistics, the current percentage of Kuwaitis in the labor market have reached 22.2 %, which indicates that the rate of increase has been less than 1 % annually over the past five years since the implementation of the Kuwaitization plan in 2017 for the jobs in the government agencies.
As per the data, dated till the end of September 2022, the number of Kuwait citizens working in the public and private sectors reached 483,803, with 184,953 males and 253,850 females, compared to 1,538,216 non-Kuwaitis of which 1,358,631 included males and 179,585 females. These figures do not include the family sector and shows that the citizens currently constitute 22.2 % of the total labor market as compared to 77.8 % of non-Kuwaitis.
Further, the rate of increase of citizens in the labor market has not exceeded 4.5 % in the past 5 years, which shows that there is difficulty in adjusting the demographics according to the plans that are currently applied.
In 2017, the percentage of citizens in the labor market was 17.7 percent which later increased to 18.2 percent in 2018 and 18.4 percent in 2019. The numbers continued to rise slightly, with 19.7 % in 2020, before a jump in 2021 to 22.3 %, and there remaining at approximately the same level in 2022 with 22.2 %.
Sources confirmed that this jump recorded between 2020 and 2021 was not due to the applied plans but because of the Covid pandemic which led to the exit of many non-Kuwaitis from the labor market. The numbers further shows that there was a slight increase from 400,909 to 424,186, which shows that while 24,000 Kuwaitis entered the labor market, about 14,000, entered between 2021 and 2022.
The years of the pandemic 2020 and 2021 also witnessed a decrease in the number of non-Kuwaitis in the Kuwait labor market, but it has returned to similar figures as compared to pre covid years in 2022 (about 1.6 million in 2020, 1.4 million in 2021 and 1.5 million in 2022).
Kuwait Citizens in the Labor market 2017-2022:
2022: 22.2 percent
2021: 22.3 percent
2020: 19.7 percent
2019: 18.4 percent
2018: 18.2 percent
2017: 17.7 percent