Kuwait City: Based off of government statistics, around 802,000 expats entered Kuwait between 2015 and 2019, Al Qabas reported.
The statistics that were referred to the National Assembly showed a significant decline in the number of expats entering Kuwait in the past couple years. Compared to the 222,000 expats who entered Kuwait in 2017, a sharp decline occurred in 2019 as around 91,000 entered the country.
Although there has been a decline in the number of expats entering the country, the topic of demographic imbalance has gained momentum recently, as the governmental officials and MPs call on shifting the imbalance.
A ministerial source told Al Qabas that a smart recruitment strategy will be put into place for recruiting foreign workers as a way to deal with the demographic imbalance. Part of the strategy will include: hiring more nationals in the governmental and private sector and employing technology to reduce labour.
The source added that there are five main reasons why the labour market is flawed which are, security, social, cultural and the urban landscape. All five are intertwined as the flawed system has allowed for the overcrowding of expats in some areas, creating even greater urban density, which have resulted in an increase in security risks, the source said.
In terms of social issues, the source said that one of the main problems is prompting the culture of dependency on foreign labour without emphasising the importance of transferring knowledge.
The demographic imbalance has been a hot topic in the National Assembly as various MPs have put forth proposals to address the issue.
Last month, during a National Assembly meeting, the government pointed out that between 2005 and 2019, the population of Kuwait doubled, reaching 4.42 million. Although Kuwaiti citizens increased by 55 per cent during that period, the number of expats grew by 130 per cent, increasing from 1.33 million in 2005 to 3.08 million in 2019.
To address the demographic imbalance, the government has been reducing the number of expats working in the public sector.
A few weeks ago, governmental ministries began laying off expats, especially those working in non-technical fields.
Back in May, the Minister of State of Municipal Affairs, announced that it was working on a plan to replace all expats working in the ministry with Kuwaitis.