Labor Force-A: Figures, Wages and the Labor Sector – Second Quarter 2019

The latest statistics on the labor force statistics in the State of Kuwait issued by the Central Statistical Bureau (CSB) as of the end of the second quarter of 2019 sorted according to its number, gender, nationality, wages and age groups, etc. indicate that the size of labor force in Kuwait is 2.142 million employees excluding the number of household workers (2.121 million workers in the end of first quarter 2019). If we add the household labor -family sector- and the like which is about 724 thousand workers, the total number will be 2.866 million workers (2.836 million workers in the end of first quarter 2019). Household workers’ percentage constitutes nearly 25.3% of total labor force in Kuwait as of the end of the second quarter of 2019 (25.2% of the total labor force in the end of first quarter 2019).The average monthly wage of Kuwaiti male workers in the public sector is about KD 1822 (KD 1807 in the end of first quarter 2019). The Kuwaiti female wage average was KD 1276 (KD 1279 in the end of first quarter 2019), a difference of 42.9% in favor of men’s wages. The monthly salary  average  of  non-Kuwaiti

males in the public sector scored KD 736 (KD 726 in the end of first quarter 2019). For non-Kuwaiti females, the average wage was KD 668 (KD 666 in the end of first quarter 2019), with a 10.1% difference in favor of males. The gender gap is more equitable in the case of non-Kuwaitis. The average monthly wage for Kuwaitis of both genders in the public sector is KD 1500 (KD 1497 in the end of first quarter 2019). The same average for non-Kuwaitis is KD 703 (KD 697 in the end of first quarter 2019), with a 113.3% difference in favor of Kuwaitis.The monthly average wage of Kuwaiti males in the private sector is about KD 1431 (KD 1417 in the end of first quarter 2019), which is less than 21.5% of males in the public sector. This average for Kuwaiti females in the private sector is about KD 891 (KD 866 in the end of first quarter 2019), which is 30.2% less than that of their female colleagues in the public sector. Undoubtedly, the government support leads to reduce the gap between the private and the public sector.  The monthly average wage of non-Kuwaiti males in the private sector is about KD 272 (KD 271 in the end of first quarter 2019). This equals 37% of the average salaries of their colleagues in the public sector. The average monthly wage for non-Kuwaiti females in the private sector is about KD 387 (KD 387 in the end of first quarter 2019), which is higher than the average salary of non-Kuwaiti males in the private sector by 42%, however it is lower than the average rate of non-Kuwaiti females in the public sector by about 42.2%.

In case of the overall wage average in both the public and private sectors, the monthly average wage of Kuwaiti males is KD 1735 (KD 1721 in the end of first quarter 2019) and for Kuwaiti females in the same sector it is KD 1211 (KD 1209 in the end of first quarter 2019), with a 43.3% difference in favor of males. The monthly average wage for non-Kuwaiti males is at KD 284 (KD 283 in the end of first  quarter 2019) and at KD 448 for non-Kuwaiti females (KD 449 in the end of first quarter 2019), a 57.7% difference in favor of females. The monthly average wage for male and female Kuwaitis in the two sectors is about KD 1435 (KD 1428 in the end of first quarter 2019) and is KD 301 for non-Kuwaitis (KD 299 in the end of first quarter 2019). Note that these figures above do not include household labor that would have a significant impact downward on the non-Kuwaiti wage rates if taken into consideration. Nor do they include the impact of governmental support allocations to Kuwaiti workers in the private sector.

The number of Kuwaiti employees in the government sector according to the CSB, is 315 thousand workers (311 thousand workers in the end of first quarter 2019). The number of Kuwait employees in the private sector is 73.8 thousand workers (73.6 thousand workers in the end of first quarter 2019). This indicates that the Kuwaiti workforce is distributed between 81% in the public sector and 19% in the private sector.

About 40.7% of Kuwaitis working in the public sector are university graduates, 4.3% are have postgraduate degrees, 14.5% obtain diplomas above high school but below university degrees, and nearly 21% are holders of high school certificates or equivalent. This entails that about 80.5% of government employees are holders of high school certificates and above. That being said, productivity in the public sector remained weak either due to overcrowding and the unorganized working environment, or due to the poor educational level or even because of the incompatibility between education outcomes and labor market requirements or even because of the spread of fake degrees.