Financial services jobs up 14pc in Bahrain
Manama , February 22, 2009
Bahrain’s financial services industry added more than 1,700 new jobs during 2008, raising total employment in the sector to 13,922 last year, according to a Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB) survey.
The 2008 employment numbers represent a year-on-year increase of 14.2 per cent and a 68.5 per cent increase over the past three years.
The financial sector employment survey, conducted annually by CBB’s Directorate of Financial Stability, covers all banks, insurance firms and other financial services institutions based in Bahrain,
The survey found that of 1,731 new jobs added by Bahrain’s financial services institutions during 2008, 985 (or 57 per cent) went to Bahrainis, raising the number of Bahrainis employed in the financial sector to 9,283 last year, from 8,293 in 2005.
The burgeoning financial sector has added 5,659 jobs in the past three years, representing a 68.5 increase over the 2005 figure of 8,263.
“A key highlight of the survey is the increase of 12 per cent in the employment of Bahraini women, who accounted for 37 per cent of all Bahrainis employed by financial institutions and 25 per cent of the total workforce in 2008,” said Mohammed Abdulkarim, director of financial stability, at the CBB.
The industry, which comprises more than 400 institutions is one of the largest contributors to Bahrain’s economy, accounting for 27 per cent of GDP in 2007, he pointed out.
The banking industry remained the largest employer within the financial services industry, with banks accounting for 3582 (69 per cent) of all financial sector jobs in 2008. The banking sector created 974 new jobs, representing 56.3 per cent of all new jobs created by the financial services industry in 2006.
Bahrainis comprised 6916 (72.2 per cent) of the banking jobs in 2008, with Bahraini women, numbering 2605, accounting for nearly 27.2 for jobs in the banking sector.
The insurance industry also posted a strong increase of 24.5 per cent in employments, with insurance firms employing a total of 1378 people in 2008, up from 1107 in 2007. The Bahraini workforce in the insurance sector grew 18 per cent to 854, from 719 in 2007, with women, totaling 322, representing 37.7 per cent of the Bahraini workforce in the insurance sector.
“The continued advancement of the financial services industry, in turn, will further reinforce Bahrain’s status as the leading international financial centre in the Middle East region,” Abdulkarim said.
On its part, the CBB remains committed to supporting the continued growth of Bahrain’s financial sector by providing a strong, business-friendly regulatory framework, an environment conducive to product innovation and ensuring the availability of skilled and professional human resources, he added. – TradeArabia News Service