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Kuwait laying off 750,000 Egyptian workers

Expatriate workers leave Kuwait earlier this year
  • Decision to lay off expat workers part of plan to Kuwaitise jobs 
  • Egypt’s unemployment rate hit 7.2% this year

Kuwait has announced it will lay off 250,000 Egyptian workers next month and suspend all contracts with non-nationals.

Some 500,000 further Egyptian workers will lose their jobs over the next year as the Gulf country seeks to remove all expatriate workers across sectors, according to Middle East Monitor.

Egyptians make up around 24 per cent of the total workforce in Kuwait, making them the largest expatriate group in the country. Indian workers make up 23.7 per cent of Kuwait’s workforce.

A report by the State Audit Bureau said 22.3 per cent of the workforce are Kuwaiti out of 77.7 per cent of non-Kuwaitis.

In 2020 Kuwait’s parliament proposed a draft law to reduce the number of foreign workers in the country. The decision to lay off expatriate workers is part of the plan to Kuwaitise jobs and empower Kuwaiti nationals. 

The law stipulated that government agencies should not renew the residencies of foreign workers.

Egypt’s unemployment rate hit 7.2 per cent this year. The North African state’s economy has struggled over recent years due to corruption, the aftermath of the coronavirus pandemic and the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

According to the Central Agency for Public Mobilisation and Statistics, the labour force increased to 29.9 million individuals in 2Q 2022, compared to 29.8 million in 1Q 2022. 

Of the total labour force, 24.85 million were males, and 5.134 million were females. The unemployed people include 1.25 million males and 901,000 females. The unemployment rate in the age group between 15 and 29 years amounted to 61.3%.