KUWAIT: This archive photo shows a worker at a construction site in Kuwait. – Photo by Fouad Al-Shaikh

KUWAIT: Kuwait’s labor market lost 199,000 non-Kuwaiti workers during 12 months from March 2020 to March 2021, according to a local report. The employees were engaged in over 15 different activities. A labor market report indicated the real estate sector lost the most workers with 53,000, followed by the wholesale, retail and car repair sectors, which lost around 37,000 workers.

With the continued suspension of bringing in labor from abroad due to the coronavirus pandemic, there was no increase in labor numbers during the said period except for the electricity, gas, steam and air conditioning sector, which saw an increase of 369 workers. The report showed a notable decrease in the number of workers in the construction sector (more than 30,000), besides manufacturing industries, from which 32,000 workers left, Al-Qabas Arabic daily reported.

Meanwhile, the labor exodus was limited in the fields of information, communications, finance, insurance, education, art, entertainment, human health and social activities. The labor market witnessed an active movement in the transfer of workers within the private sector, with nearly 107,000 transfers. The number of work permits that were renewed totaled 402,000 in the first half of this year, while the number of employees in the private sector remained at around 1.5 million workers.

The Public Authority of Manpower unveiled the mechanism of issuing work permits for those who entered the country on commercial visas, saying if employers register entry visas for work permits on the e-forms site, they must make sure to attach a copy of the visa and police clearance certificate authenticated by official departments. PAM said the next procedures will then be completed at the labor departments.

Meanwhile, a labor market information system report showed that Indians form the largest number of those who left the marketplace in the first quarter of this year, as the total number of workers dropped by 67,809, 17,398 of whom were domestic helpers. The report showed 21,431 Indians left the private sector, followed by 11,135 Egyptians and 6,136 Bangladeshis.

As for the family sector (domestic helpers, etc), Indians also left in large numbers (10,169), followed by Filipinos with 2,543 workers. The number of domestic helpers reached 651,265, a drop of 17,398 from the total registered at the end of last year.