Stock - Saudi economy / Riyadh skyline
Riyadh skyline, Saudi Arabia. Image Credit: Bloomberg

Cairo: The number of domestic workers in Saudi Arabia reached 3.5 million in the third quarter of last year, an increase of nearly 193,000 against the second quarter of the same year, a Saudi newspaper has found.

The increase is the highest since the final quarter of 2019 when an increase of 464,000 was recorded, Al Eqtisadiah said in a report based on official figures.

The Q3 rise in domestic labour in 2022 was mainly due to an increase in numbers of house servants and cleaning workers who reached 155,000 people during the three months, the report said. House drivers, meanwhile, numbered 32,700, the report said.

The domestic workers at the end of the third quarter last year accounted for around 32.8 per cent of the overall migrant workers in the kingdom estimated at 10.9 million, it added.

Around 66.8 per cent of the expatriates are employed by the private sector in the kingdom. According to the report, drivers made up 49 per cent of the overall domestic labour in Saudi Arabia at the end of Q3 of last year with 1.7 million, followed by house servants and cleaning workers with 48 per cent. The remaining 3 per cent are workers doing other house jobs.

There was no explanation for reasons of the reported increase in domestic labour in the kingdom during the third quarter of 2022.

Lifting restrictions earlier prompted by COVID-19 could be one reason.

Domestic workers in Saudi Arabia include housekeepers, drivers, housemaids, cleaners, cooks, guards, farmers, tailors, live-in nurses, tutors and nannies, the report explained.