Expat jobs boost

EMPLOYMENT growth among expatiates went up by 5.1 per cent, according to latest figures. It has risen from 488,979 in the fourth quarter of 2012 to 514,156 in the fourth quarter last year.

The number of Bahrainis in work also went up by 3.9pc, rising from 146,739 to 152,473, says the latest Labour Market Regulatory Authority’s (LMRA) labour market indicators report.

At the same time less work visas were issued and more were terminated. It has emerged that there was a 40.2pc increase in termination and 14.5pc decrease in the issuance of new work visas.

“The number of new work visas issued by the LMRA for regular workers during the last quarter of 2013 decreased to 24,649, representing an annual growth rate of -14.5pc,” said the report.

“The total number of visa terminations during the quarter was 28,012, of which 23,957 were for regular workers, 32 for investors, 444 for temporary workers and 3,579 for dependents.”

The report revealed the LMRA issued 30,869 visas during the fourth quarter last year, of which 24,649 were for work visas, 253 for investors, 475 for temporary workers and 5,492 for dependents.

“The number of visa renewals during the quarter was 40,752 of which 31,480 were for regular workers, 269 for investors, 257 for temporary workers and 8,746 for dependents,” it said.

“The number of visa renewals increased from 36,028 in the fourth quarter of 2012 to 40,752.”

The number of expatriates who transferred from one employer to another was 7,450.

Most new work visas were in the construction sector (26pc), followed by the retail sector (25pc) and manufacturing (13pc).

“Hotels and restaurants sector was the economic sector with the highest number of transfers, followed by wholesale and retail trade sector and financial intermediation sector,” said the report.

“Nearly 58pc of transfer transactions in the fourth quarter last year were made by small economic units (less than 10 workers).”

The labour cost gap between Bahrainis and expatriates in the construction, trade, hotels and restaurants and small-scale manufacturing rose by BD21 to reach BD303 in the fourth quarter last year compared to the same period in 2012.

The average monthly wages of Bahraini workers in the private sector was BD504 and BD649 in the public sector. ahmed@gdn.com.bh