77pc of Bahrain workforce expatriate
Manama, June 10, 2013
More than three quarters of Bahrain's workforce are foreign, said a senior government official, citing new statistics released by the kingdom’s the Labour Market Regulatory Authority (LMRA).
Out of the 647,578 people currently in employment, 499,797 are expatriate (77 per cent) and the remaining 147,781 Bahraini, Labour Minister Jameel Humaidan was quoted as saying by the Gulf Daily News (GDN), our sister publication.
However, there was 6.7 per cent growth in total employment during the first three months of the year compared with the same period last year, he noted as he revealed details of LMRA first quarter report.
"Out of the total workforce in both the government and private sector, 147,781 employees were Bahraini and that's an increase of 3.6 per cent compared with the same period last year," said Humaidan.
"The numbers of expatriate employees increased to 499,797, which is around 7.7 per cent, in the first quarter of this year compared with 464,266 employees at the same time last year. We have to clarify one thing and that the increase in expatriate employees is mainly due to need for infrastructure projects, which have increased over the past year."
The minister announced the labour market statistics during a Press conference after submitting the data to the weekly Cabinet meeting yesterday.
It is the first time that the LMRA quarterly report has been made public for more than a year. The reports were issued for the end of each quarter since the start of 2007, but stopped abruptly at the end of 2011.
Humaidan, who is LMRA chairman, said that with 647,578 registered employees in Bahrain at the end of March, it was the first time that more than half of the population was in work.
That is based on a population figure of 1.324 million according to the latest census in 2011.
"The LMRA issued 41,342 permits in the first quarter of this year - 32,200 for employees, 264 for investors, 1,242 for temporary employees and 7,636 for family members of expatriate employees," said Mr Humaidan.
"This is an increase of around 3,000 permits from the 38,105 issued in the same period last year."
He added that the 32,200 employee work permits was an increase of 5.5 per cent compared with the 30,517 issued in the same period last year. "Around 45 per cent of those employees' permits were for small enterprises," he said.
Meanwhile, the LMRA renewed 39,405 permits in the first quarter of this year compared with 43,493 in the same period last year.
"A total of 28,589 permits were for employees, 302 for investors, 364 for temporary employees and 10,150 for family members of expatriate employees," said Humaidan.
"The LMRA has terminated 24,781 work permits in the first quarter - 19,998 for employees, 26 for investors, 1,457 for temporary employees and 3,390 for families of expatriate workers."
He said most new permits issued were in the construction sector (30 per cent), followed by the retail sector (22 per cent) and industry (14 per cent). – TradeArabia News Service