Stock Kuwait skyline city
Kuwait city skyline Image Credit: Reuters

Cairo: The numbers of new expatriates employed at Kuwait’s government agencies have dropped by 70 per cent in 2022 compared to the previous four years amid increasing employment of Kuwaitis, according to official figures.

Al Qabas newspaper cited figures from the Kuwaiti Central Administration of Statistics showing that the total expatriates who joined the government bodies in the country were 1,553 in the first half of 2022 against 7,000 each in the previous years except in epidemic-hit 2020 when only 200 foreigners were appointed. Kuwaitis now account for 366,238 or around 80 per cent of the overall government workers in the country against 91,000 expatriates mostly doing service-orientated jobs in education and health care, the paper said.

Arab expatriates come first among non-Kuwaiti government workers, making up 51.8 per cent followed by Asians, it added.

Expatriates are mostly employed at the ministries of education, health, electricity Awqaf (religious endowments) and the interior.

In recent years, Kuwait has stepped up efforts to create jobs for its citizens and replacing foreign employees as part of policy dubbed “kuwaitisation”.

Foreigners make up nearly 3.4 million of Kuwait’s overall population of 4.6 million.

In recent months, there have been increasing calls in Kuwait for curbing foreigners’ employment along accusations that migrant workers have strained the country’s infrastructure facilities amid economic repercussions from the COVID-19 pandemic.