Bahrain unemployment rate down
Manama, July 2, 2008
Bahrain's unemployment rate has dropped from 16.5 per cent to three per cent in three years, Labour Minister Dr Majeed Al Alawi has revealed.
The number of unemployed Bahrainis now stands at 4,065, he told a press conference at the Labour Market Regulatory Authority (LMRA) headquarters in Sanabis on Tuesday. These include 3,532 females and 533 males, he revealed.
According to a December 2004 survey, the unemployment rate in Bahrain was 16.5 per cent.
After the successful implementation of the National Employment Project, it dropped to three per cent.
Dr Al Alawi said his ministry's campaign to upgrade the skills of Bahrainis and improve their salary had also met with success.
'A large number of companies have already increased the minimum salary of Bahraini workers to BD200 ($531),' he added.
'The unemployment insurance programme being introduced in the country is the first of its kind in the Middle East.
'The scheme puts Bahrain on par with advanced countries in terms of social insurance for its citizens.'
The first stage came into force last year with the start of collecting contributions from employers, employees and the government.
Each of them contributes one per cent of the employees' salary towards the scheme.
New jobseekers who hold a university diploma or degree get a monthly assistance of BD150, while undergraduates get BD120.
Beneficiaries are obliged to join the ministry's training programmes to qualify them for future jobs .
Under the second category, people who lose jobs after paying contributions towards the scheme for a minimum period of 12 months will be eligible to receive 60 per cent of their salary every month, with a maximum of BD500 and a minimum of BD150.
The Labour Ministry and the General Organisation for Social Insurance (Gosi) manage and run the scheme jointly.-TradeArabia News Service