In an indication oflabor shortage of expatriate workers produced in Kuwait, the Statistics Department recorded the fall of the residence of 447 thousand expatriates last year, in addition to more than 25,000 counted by the Public Authority for Manpower during the first third of 2021, bringing the total departures during a year and a half to 472,000, at a rate that exceeds 2019 numbers hundreds of times.
In reading these numbers and their repercussions, economic sources confirmed that, since the start of the Corona crisis, Kuwait has turned into a country that expels productive labor in various sectors, with evidence that the local private sector lost 300,000 expatriate employees (16.6% of its expatriate job body), and the public sector lost 14,000 (14.3%) and the domestic labor sector is 94 thousand (12.8%).
The sources stated that these data confirm that those whose residency has been forfeited are from the productive workers whose absence has caused a major imbalance that emerged in the level of labor shortage and the significant increase in its cost and wages, as well as the decline in the quality and efficiency of services.
In this context, the economic expert and Chairman of the Board of Directors of Al-Shall Economic Consulting Company, Jassem Al-Saadoun, confirmed that the national economy will suffer in the short term, a problem of inflation due to the shortage of expatriate workers that the market is currently suffering from, especially among the owners of specialized crafts professions, stressing that if Continuing economic performance in the same way Kuwait will face a real problem, especially as it depends on an unsustainable economy.
For his part, the economist Ali Al-Mousa said that “as long as it is related to the policy of supply and demand, amid the shortage of labor that the market is currently suffering from, it is certain that the prices of services will increase, especially since this effect is experienced by most countries of the world,” explaining that the increase in prices was stung by the contractor’s fire. Who implements huge projects, and the ordinary citizen who wants to build a house for himself or his family.
Al-Mousa pointed out that there is a radical and clear change in the prices of providing services in the field of professional labor compared to before the pandemic, which may reach almost double, adding: “I cannot be certain that reopening the airport, during next August, to the valid residence visa campaign, may solve the issue, Especially since the final word on the matter will be after the actual implementation.”
Sources in the “manpower” confirmed that the extent of the crisis will be revealed sharply after the opening of the country and the return of the work cycle in the various sectors, in which the large vacancy size will become clear, especially since some tendencies to replace expatriates by citizens will not be able to cover the large shortage of jobs, especially in the private sector. This may pave the way for more expensive services and wages.
The sources stated that the contracting, crafts, restaurants, farms and fishing sectors were the most affected by the shortage of labor, adding that the “manpower” decision to allow the transfer of expatriate labor permits used locally in all sectors did not achieve the required breakthrough, as the market still suffers from a severe shortage in the number of workers It was directly reflected in doubling the prices of services and imposing additional burdens on citizens’ pockets.
For his part, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Sudair Trading and Contracting Company, Tariq Al-Mutawa, said that the factories operate at a capacity of not more than 40%, and that the government is required to plan for the return of workers.
While the industrial expert, Ahmed Al-Nouri, stated that the wages of contracting workers rose between 50 and 100% and negatively affected the progress of the construction process, the head of the Kuwaiti Federation of Restaurants, Cafes and Catering Fahd Al-Arbash confirmed that there is a severe shortage of food supply workers, and that the monthly wage for the cleaner exceeded 250 dinars. .