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IndexLevelChg%
Large Cap3,958 0.85
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Small Cap5,129 0.41
Micro Cap8,650 0.61

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NBK GCC Brief

Source: NBK Capital

Kuwait’s population steady in first half of 2009

The latest statistics from the Public Authority for Civil Information (PACI) show the total population of Kuwait stood at 3.44 million at the end of June 2009, more or less unchanged from the end of 2008. More than 1.10 million, or 32%, are Kuwaiti nationals while 2.34 million are expatriates. A 15,000 rise in the population of Kuwaitis was approximately offset by a 14,000 decline in the number of expatriates. (See table 1.) Although the latter surely reflects fallout from the economic crisis, the drop – at less than 1% - was actually smaller than it might have been; the number of foreigners in Kuwait is still 50,000 or 2% higher than it was two years earlier. The decline should also be seen in the context of the government’s Kuwaitization policy and weaker activity in sectors employing large numbers of non-nationals.

Employment
While employment figures for Kuwaitis do not reflect the general slowdown in economic activity seen in the past 18 months, mainly due to the structure of the labor force and stability in public sector employment, the drop in expatriate employment does. Kuwait’s employment level stood at 2.04 million in June 2009, declining by 13,000 at an annualized rate of 2.6% during the first half of 2009. All of the fall in employment was attributable to the expatriate segment. Indeed, the number of employed Kuwaitis actually increased by 10,000 (3%). Similarly, the fall in total employment came from within the private sector. Employment in the public sector actually increased. (See table 2.)

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