Unemployment in Kuwait: 28,000 Citizens on the Job Hunt

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KUWAIT CITY, Oct 3: The latest data from the Public Authority for Civil Information, as of June 2023, reveals that Kuwait is grappling with unemployment, encompassing both Kuwaiti and non-Kuwaiti individuals, with a total of 31,831 people without work. This constitutes an unemployment rate of approximately 1% when considering the overall labor force of 2.96 million individuals, reports Al-Qabas daily.

Specifically focusing on Kuwaiti labor force numbers, there were 28,190 unemployed Kuwaitis recorded at the end of June 2023. This marks an increase of 2,100 unemployed individuals compared to figures from the end of 2022. Consequently, the unemployment rate among citizens stands at 5.75%, given the total citizen labor force of 490 thousand.

However, it’s vital to highlight that comparing unemployment figures in Kuwait with those in developed countries requires a nuanced perspective. In Kuwait, unemployment is often linked to awaiting nominations from the Civil Service Commission, particularly for Kuwaiti graduates seeking positions in the public sector.

This waiting period is influenced by governmental decisions, driven by political and financial considerations. As a result, the 5.75% unemployment rate among citizens may not entirely align with the conventional understanding of unemployment in economic terms.

Examining near-zero unemployment among non-Kuwaitis does not offer a direct reflection of the local economy, especially the private sector. A substantial number of non-Kuwaitis without formal employment choose to leave the country and thus are not accounted for in the statistics.

Therefore, a more accurate gauge of economic activity involves monitoring fluctuations in the number of non-Kuwaiti workers, particularly those in the private sector.

Based on the latest data, the non-Kuwaiti workforce totals 2.475 million individuals, distributed across various sectors: 811,000 in domestic roles, 1.547 million in the private sector, and 112,000 in the government sector.

To infer the economic health of the nation, the key metric to observe is the number of non-Kuwaiti workers in the private sector, as it directly indicates growth and vitality in internal economic activities.

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