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Fri 31 Jul 2009 08:50 AM

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Kuwait’s private sector layoffs below 900 – official

Average layoffs in the private sector in each quarter of year was between 425-598.

The total number of layoffs from the private sector firms in Kuwait is no more than 900, an official said on Thursday.The acting secretary-general of Manpower and Government Restructuring Program (MGRP) Bander Al Rashed cited the statistics of the Public Authority for Social Securities (PASS) on the layoffs between Oct, 2008, and June 30, 2009, according to newswire KUNA.

“The MGRP leaders predicted the unemployment problem before its emergence. So they were able to develop solutions at an early stage and find alternative jobs that suit the specialisations of the layoffs,” he pointed out.

“The MGRP tendered a field study to the Civil Service Commission (CSC) which in turn tendered the study to the cabinet.

“The cabinet adopted Decree No. 568 on the formation of a joint panel consisting of representatives of the MGRP, the CSC, the PASS and the Ministry of Social Affairs and Labour to further study the situation.” Al Rashed noted.

The panel, chaired by finance minister Mustafa Al Shimali, realised that the number of on the layoffs between Oct, 2008, and June 30, 2009, was almost equal to the figures of the corresponding period of last year, he underlined.

“The labour force at local firms was not much affected by the financial crisis and the number of those who lost their jobs is far less than reported figures of mass media,” Al Rashed made clear.

“The figure 900 includes the workers who have been reemployed by other private firms and those who launched their own enterprises,” he added.

Meanwhile, Abdulrahman Al Mansouri, a consultant at the MGRP, said the average number of layoffs in the private sector in each quarter of a year ranged between 425 and 598, KUNA reported.

“The net figure of the layoffs who do not return to work represents less than five percent of the total Kuwaiti workers in the private sector,” he affirmed.

Al-Mansouri noted that more than 50 percent of the layoffs are usually reemployed by their original employers or other ones.

“Some 80 percent of the layoffs are not highly educated and 22 percent are pensioners,” he went on to say.

“All data reveal that there is no unemployment phenomenon in Kuwait and that the number of Kuwaiti workers at private firms grew by 12.4 percent in Q2 of 2009, compared with the figures of the same period of last year,” Al Mansouri revealed.

The number of employees in private sector the Q1 2009 went up 46.5 percent against the same period of 2008, he said, citing the statistics of PASS.

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