77pc of Bahrain workforce 'are expats'
Manama, December 16, 2013
Foreigners account for three-quarters of Bahrain's workforce, according to statistics released yesterday.
Of the 667,132 people in jobs 515,237 are expatriates (77 per cent), Labour Minister Jameel Humaidan said as he revealed details of the Labour Market Regulatory Authority (LMRA) third quarter report submitted to the Cabinet reported the Gulf Daily News (GDN), our sister publication.
Bahrainis occupied 151,829 jobs, but the minister said this was an increase on last year - with Bahrain witnessing a 6.4 per cent growth in total employment during July, August and September compared to the same period in 2012.
"Out of the total workforce in both the government and private sector, 151,829 employees were Bahraini and that's an increase of 4.2 per cent compared to 145,829 employees last year," said Humaidan.
"The number of expatriate employees increased to 515,237, which is around 7.1 per cent, in the third quarter of this year compared with the same time last year.
"The LMRA issued 28,841 work permits in the third quarter of this year, which is a drop of 7.2 per cent from the same period last year," said Humaidan.
"We issued a total of 35,723 permits - 28,841 for employees, 214 for investors, 420 for temporary employees and 6,248 for family members of expatriate employees.
"This is a drop in work permits from the 39,038 issued in the same period last year. Around 47 per cent of those employees' permits were for small enterprises."
Meanwhile, the LMRA renewed 35,758 work permits in the third quarter this year compared with 34,046 in the same period last year.
"A total of 27,855 permits were for employees, 310 for investors, 310 for temporary employees and 7,375 for family members of expatriate employees," said Humaidan.
"The LMRA has terminated 26,119 work permits in the third quarter - 22,051 for employees, 24 for investors, 475 for temporary employees and 3,596 for families of expatriate workers."
He said most new work permits were issued in the construction sector (28 per cent), followed by the retail sector (22 per cent) and industry (13 per cent).
Meanwhile, 7,442 expatriate workers changed employers in the third quarter.
"Around 41 per cent of the changes happened with the sponsor's approval with the hotels sector having the most (transfers)," said the minister.
"Around 54 per cent of the changes occurred in small enterprises in the third quarter of this year."
Huamidan said average wages in the private sector reached BD504 ($1,308) in the third quarter of this year - an increase of 2 per cent from BD494 in the same period last year. - TradeArabia News Service