Bahrain employment growth slows to 4.4pc
Manama, March 9, 2010
Bahrain recorded a growth of 4.4 per cent in the total number of employed persons at the end of 2009, representing the lowest annual growth since 2002, a report said.
The total number of employed was 603,482, according to the Labour Market Regulatory Authority (LMRA) report.
Comparing Q4 2009 and Q4 2008, foreign worker employment increased by 28,739 to 466,950, representing an annual growth rate of 6.6 per cent.
Bahraini employment decreased to 136,532 by the end of Q4 2009 due to the new procedures implemented by the Ministry of Labour for eliminating ghost workers records and registering of new Bahraini hiring, it said.
Average monthly wages was stable at BD299.
The number of new work visas issued by LMRA during Q4 2009 for regular workers was 25,634 representing a 5.9 per cent decrease compared to the same quarter a year before. 42 per cent of the new work visas were for small organisations (less than 10 workers) and 32 per cent were for the construction sector.
The total number of new visas issued by LMRA during 2009 Q4 was 31,681, of which 25,634 were for regular workers, 96 for investors, 832 for temporary workers and 5,119 for dependents. Compared with the same quarter a year before, the total number of work visas issued by LMRA witnessed a decrease: 31,681 in 2009 Q4 against 35,237 in 2008 Q4.
The total number of visa renewals was 39,418 in Q4, of which 31,798 were for regular workers, 65 for investors, 582 for temporary workers and 6,973 for dependents. Contrary to the pattern of new visas, the number of renewals has increased during Q4 for all types of work visas (Annual growth rate of 64 per cent for regular workers visas renewal).
In 2009 Q4, the total number of terminations was 17,419, of which 14,749 were for regular workers, 9 for investors, 943 for temporary workers and 1,718 for dependents.
Construction continued to be the economic sector with the highest number of new work visas for regular workers (34 per cent), followed by wholesale and retail trade (21 per cent), and manufacturing (17 per cent). While the share of wholesale and retail trade and manufacturing remained essentially unchanged, the share of construction increased from 29 per cent last quarter to 32 per cent by the end of Q4 2009.
The median wages of Bahraini employees continues its gradual increase and reached BD438 in Q4 2009 representing a change of 8.9 per cent in comparison to the same quarter last year (BD431, Q3 2009). This increase is more obvious in the private sector (BD317) which achieved for the first time an annual growth rate of 14 per cent.
The labour cost gap between Bahraini and non-Bahraini workers in the target sectors (construction, trade, hotels and restaurants and small scale manufacturing) increased to BD231. The main reason for fluctuation in 2009 is the change in the level of Bahraini wages, said the report.-TradeArabia News Service