About 65% of the Kerala expatriates in the Gulf countries are expected to lose their jobs due to the recent economic crisis created by the COVID-19 pandemic. With 13.5% already lost their jobs and 26.02% anticipating an immediate loss of job. 18.44% has already had a salary cut while 7.32% are not currently receiving their salaries. These findings are based on a survey conducted among the residents in the Gulf countries by Pravasi Risala magazine. The detailed report and analysis of the survey results are published in the latest edition of Pravasi Risala.
About 93% of the respondents indicated that they knew someone who has lost their jobs due to the crisis resulting from COVID -19 pandemic where 34% of them indicated that they are aware of numerous such cases of job loss. The study shows the impact of COVID-19 among the expatriate communities in the gulf region. The study was conducted among 7223 respondents from various job and business background from the 6 GCC countries. The study was completed with the support of the volunteers from Risala Study Circle (RSC).
52.04% of the respondents wished to continue in the Gulf amidst the crisis or wished to return once the crisis is over. 14.84% are sure that they would have to return, 23.99% indicated that they would return if they find no other options of livelihood while only 8.9 % indicated that they would not return to the Gulf. Ali Akbar, Executive Editor of Pravasi Risala, said that the study indicates the impact of Gulf would have on the economic situation of Kerala.
65.54% of the expatriates do not have a job or a source of income back home. 29.71% are confident of finding some source of livelihood back home. 4.75% has job or business when they return back. 56.12% would have to depend on loans or other financial supports for earning a livelihood. The survey brings out the sorrowful situation of 20.98% respondents who does not have a land or house of their own. The remaining people who participated in the survey indicated that they have a house, land or other assets. Majority of the expatriates have the responsibility of marriage or education of their kids or dependents on their shoulders. Only 15.79% of the participants are in a comfortable situation and staying with their family in the Gulf. 65% of the respondents were mentally impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. For 34.65% of the respondents, the crisis has created very serious impact.
67.06% of the people who participated in the survey belonged to the age gap of 26- 40 years, 27.10% belonged to the age gap of 41-60 and 5.85% belong to the age group of 18-25 years. The survey conducted across the 6 GCC countries had respondents from all the districts of Kerala. Ali Akbar stated that the data generated by the survey should influence the policy makers and should be considered while framing policies in the political and social spheres.