Labor Force-A: Figures, Wages and the Labor Sector – First Quarter 2019
The latest statistics on the labor force statistics in the State of Kuwait issued by the Central Statistical Bureau (CSB) as of the end of the first quarter of 2019 sorted according to its number, gender, nationality, wages and age groups, etc. indicate that the size of labor force in Kuwait is 2.121 million employees excluding the number of household workers (2.104 million workers at the end of 2018).
If we add the household labor – family sector – and the like which is about 715 thousand workers, the total number will be 2.836 million workers (2.811 million workers at the end of 2018). Household workers’ percentage constitutes nearly 25.2% of total labor force in Kuwait as of the end of the first quarter of 2019 (25.1% of the total labor force at the end of 2018), says Al-Shall Economic Report prepared by Al-Shall Consulting Co headed by Jassem Al-Saadoun.
The average monthly wage of Kuwaiti male workers in the public sector is about KD 1,807 (KD 1,778 at the end of 2018). The Kuwaiti female wage average was KD 1,279 (KD 1,272 at the end of 2018), a difference of 41.3% in favor of men’s wages. The monthly salary average of non-Kuwaiti males at the public sector scored KD 726 (KD 724 at the end of 2018).
For non-Kuwaiti females, the average wage was KD 666 (KD 664 in the end of 2018), with a 9.1% difference in favor of males. The gender gap is more equitable in the case of non-Kuwaitis. The average monthly wage for Kuwaitis of both genders in the public sector is KD 1,497 (KD 1,482 at the end of 2018). The same average for non- Kuwaitis is KD 697 (KD 695 at the end of 2018), with a 114.9% difference in favor of Kuwaitis.
The monthly average wage of Kuwaiti males in the private sector is about KD 1,417 (KD 1,411 at the end of 2018), which is less than 21.6% of males in the public sector. This average for Kuwaiti females in the private sector is about KD 866 (KD 861 at the end of 2018), which is 32.3% less than that of their female colleagues in the public sector.
Undoubtedly, the government support leads to reduce the gap between the private and the public sector. The monthly average wage of non-Kuwaiti males in the private sector is about KD 271 (KD 269 at the end of 2018). This equals 37.3% of the average salaries of their colleagues in the public sector. The average monthly wage for non-Kuwaiti females in the private sector is about KD 387 (KD 386 at the end of 2018), which is higher than the average salary of non-Kuwaiti males in the private sector by 42.7%, however it is lower than the average rate of non-Kuwaiti females in the public sector by about 41.9%. In case of the overall wage average in both the public and private sectors, the monthly average wage of Kuwaiti males is KD 1721 (KD 1697 at the end of 2018) and for Kuwaiti females in the same sector it is KD 1,209 (KD 1,202 at the end of 2018), with a 42.4% difference in favor of males. The monthly average wage for non-Kuwaiti males is at KD 283 (KD 281 at the end of 2018) and at KD 449 for non-Kuwaiti females (KD 449 at the end of 2018), a 58.7% difference in favor of females.
The monthly average wage for male and female Kuwaitis in the two sectors is about KD 1,415 at the end of 2018 and is KD 299 for non-Kuwaitis (KD 298 at the end of 2018). Note that these figures above do not include household labor that would have a significant impact downward on the non-Kuwaiti wage rates if taken into consideration.
Nor do they include the impact of governmental support allocations to Kuwaiti workers in the private sector. The number of Kuwaiti employees in the government sector according to the CSB, is 311 thousand workers (308 thousand workers at the end of 2018) but according to PACI, this figure stands at 335 thousand.
The number of Kuwait employees in the private sector is 74 thousand workers (73 thousand workers at the end of 2018). This indicates that the Kuwaiti workforce is distributed between 80.9% in the public sector and 19.1% in the private sector. About 40.8% of Kuwaitis working in the public sector are university graduates, 4.3% are have postgraduate degrees, 15.1% obtain diplomas above high school but below university degrees, and nearly 21.6% are holders of high school certificates or equivalent. This entails that about 81.8% of government employees are holders of high school certificates and above.
That being said, productivity in the public sector remained weak either due to overcrowding and the unorganized working environment, or due to the poor educational level or even because of the incompatibility between education outcomes and labor market requirements or even because of the spread of fake degrees.
Labor Force-B: Household Workers or the Family Sector – First Quarter 2019
Approximately one-third of total expatriate workers in Kuwait are household workers, totaling at 715 thousand (according to the Central Statistical Bureau) at the end of the first quarter of 2019 (707 thousand workers at the end of 2018). The numbers are divided almost equally between males 353 thousand and females 362 thousand.
Male workers from India take the lead with 237 thousand (234 thousand workers at the end of 2018), while the Philippines take the lead in female workers by about 141 thousand (139 thousand workers at the end of 2018). India leads total number of household workers of both genders by 46.4% of the total, followed by the Philippines by 19.9% of the total.
Four nationalities namely India, the Philippines, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka capture 91.9% of total household workers out of 10 nationalities. The six other nationalities form the rest by 3.3% for the highest and 0.3% for the least. The Pakistani manpower, due to the restrictions imposed on it, is not included among those ten nationalities. Four African countries are among the countries exporting household labor, led by Ethiopia at 3.3%, then Ivory Coast, Madagascar, and Cameron by 0.6%, 0.5%, and 0.3%, respectively.
If we merge the numbers of household workers with other expats categories according to nationality, Indians will score about 916 thousand workers (906 thousand workers at the end of the year 2018), or 32.2% of total labor force including Kuwaiti employees, and 37.4% of total foreign labor force, taking the lead in both cases. The Egyptian labor force comes second by a total labor of nearly 500 thousand workers (493 thousand workers at the end of the year 2018), forming 17.6% of total labor force and 20.6% of total expat labor force.
The Kuwaiti workforce comes third at 385 thousand (381 thousand workers in the end of the year 2018) forming 13.6% of the total labor force. That percentage might rise if the numbers in the tables include the military. Bangladesh comes fourth with a total of 270 thousand workers (270 thousand workers at the end of the year 2018).
This equals 9.5% of total labor force and about 11% of total expat workers. The Philippines occupies the fifth position in total employment by about 220 workers (217 thousand workers at the end of the year 2018), about 7.8% of total labor force and 9% of total expat work force
Comparative Performance of Selected Stock Markets – July 2019
The performance during July was positive for most selected markets with 8 markets achieving gains while the losing markets were six. The resultant of performance during the seven months of the current year was 13 markets gaining compared to their price levels in the beginning of the year and only one market losing.
The biggest gainer in July was the Dubai market which gained 9.8% in one month compared with 1.5% gain in June with a net gain of about 15.4%, ranking sixth in terms of gains compared to its level since the beginning of the year. The second-biggest gainer during July was Abu Dhabi market with 6.8% gain, ranking tenth among the winning markets since the beginning of the year with about 8.2% gains.
The third-biggest gainer was Bahrain market with 5.2% gain thus becoming the fourth biggest gainer since the beginning of the year with 15.7% gains. The Indian market was the biggest loser during July with about -4.9% losses and thus fell from the ninth position with 9.2% gains to the twelfth position with 3.9% gains since the beginning of the year. The Muscat Securities Market “MSM” achieved the second biggest loss in July with -3.2% losses in its index and confirmed its position at the bottom of the losers this year with -13% losses until the end of July.
The German market shifted to the fifth position from the second position in its performance since the beginning of the year as it achieved -1.7% losses in one month and thus became the third biggest loser in July. The least loser was the French market with its index losing -0.4% during July. July performance slightly changed the performance ranking of the markets since the beginning of the year until the end of the month. Boursa Kuwait took the lead among gainers according to its general index leading the countries of all the sample markets 20.4% gains since the beginning of the year. Although China was affected by the trade war with the United States it is still the second biggest gainer among markets gaining 17.6% in 7 months.
The least gainer since the beginning of the year was Qatar market with 2% gains. Despite the fluctuation of the markets’ performance during the past months, the overall outcome remained positive despite the trade war, the geopolitical tensions and the ambiguity of the oil market performance.
Commercial Bank of Kuwait Financial Results (CBK) – First Half 2019
The Commercial Bank of Kuwait (CBK) announced results of its operations for the first half of the current year which indicate that the bank’s net profit (after tax deductions) scored about KD 9.84 million compared with KD 6.04 million in the same period of 2018, reflecting a rise in the net profit by KD 3.80 million or by 62.8%.
This rise in the net profit is due to the rise in total operating income by a higher value than the rise in the total operating expenses. Therefore, the bank achieved KD 58.32 million operating profit (prior to provisions deductions), increasing by KD 4.22 million or by 7.8% compared with KD 54.10 million. In details, total operating income increased by KD 6.25 million or by 8%, and scored KD 83.96 million compared with KD 77.71 million in the same period of 2018.
This resulted from rise in item of net interest income by KD 2.20 million or by 4.7%, reaching KD 49.05 million compared with KD 46.85 million. Also, item of other operating income rose by KD 2.43 million and scored KD 5.70 million compared with KD 3.26 million. Total operating expenses increased by a lesser value than the increase in total operating income, its rise was KD 2.02 million or 8.6%, and scored KD 25.63 million compared with KD 23.60 million in the same period of 2018, this resulted from the rise in all items of the operating expenses, except for item of general and administrative expenses that declined by KD 1.73 million.
Total provisions increased by KD 263 thousand or by 0.5%, and scored KD 48.16 million compared with KD 47.90 million. Therefore, net profit margin increased to 12% compared with 8.8% in the same period of 2018. Total bank’s assets scored KD 4.674 billion, a 4.6% or KD 206.4 million rise compared with KD 4.468 billion at the end of 2018. It increased by 9.7% or by KD 411.6 million, if compared with total assets in the first half of 2018 when it reached KD 4.262 billion. Item of loans and advances to costumers recorded an increase of about KD 201.9 million or by 9%, and scored KD 2.455 billion (52.5% of total assets) versus KD 2.253 billion (50.4% of total assets) at the end of December 2018.
It also increased by 14.9% or by KD 318.3 million if compared with the same period of 2018, when it scored KD 2.137 billion (50.1% of total assets). Percentage of total loans and advances to total deposits scored 65.3% compared with 62.9%. Furthermore, item of due from banks and other financial institutions rose by KD 92.1 million or by 24.9%, reaching KD 462.5 million (9.9% of total assets) versus KD 370.4 million (8.3% of total assets) at the end of 2018, while it increased by KD 21.8 million or by 5%, when it scored KD 440.6 million (10.3% of total assets) in the same period of last year. Figures indicate that the bank’s liabilities (excluding total equity) increased by KD 205.4 million or by 5.5%, and scored KD 3.943 billion compared with KD 3.738 billion at the end of 2018. It also increased by KD 332.8 million or by 9.2%, if compared with the total at the end of the first half last year when it scored KD 3.610 million. Percentage of total liabilities to total assets scored 84.4% compared with 84.7%.
Results of analyzing of the bank’s financial statements calculated on annual basis indicates that all profitability indexes increased compared with the same period of 2018. Average return on equities relevant to bank shareholders (ROE) rose to 2.7% compared with 1.9%. The average return on the bank’s assets (ROA) increased to 0.4% versus 0.3%. Likewise, the average return on the bank’s capital (ROC) increased to 10.4% versus 7%. Earnings per share (EPS) rose to 5.0 Fils compared with 3.1 Fils for the same period of 2018. (P/E) scored 51.5 times compared with 78.4 times (improved), as a result of the rise in the share market price by nearly 6%, against a greater rise in the (EPS) by 61.3% compared to June 30, 2018. (P/B) scored 1.4 times versus 1.3 times.