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Job Market in Bahrain Improving

Bahrain : 02 September 2010

Employment numbers in Bahrain are climbing again after months of stalled improvement, indicating that the Bahrain job market is beginning to recover.

The most recent data shows that employment in Bahrain rose a modest one per cent growth at the close of Q2, pushing the total to 139,347.

This is the first increase that employment in Bahrain has seen since September.

Bahrain’s growth in employment hit a peak of 10 per cent in March 2009 before falling dramatically to only 4 per cent by the close of June 2009 and then hitting 2 per cent in September.

Although during the period between September and now the number of working Bahrains fell by 3 per cent, data by the Labour Market Regulatory Authority (LMRA) indicates a positive outlook.

The total number of working Bahrains climbed to 139,347 which indicated an increase of 0.5 per cent.

At the same time the workforce of expatriates shrank by 2 per cent to bring that total to 457,694.

Last year the growth of the expatriate workforce hit 17 per cent at the close of March and 15 per cent at the close of June.

LMRA reported that in total, the count of Bahrain’s employed decreased from the 607,570 in 2009’s Q2 to 597,040 in Q2 for 2010, resulting in a shrinking rate of 1.7 per cent (or -1.7 per cent).

For expatriates, this resulted in a 2. 4 per cent fall.

On the other hand, the average monthly earnings across all industries climbed 5 per cent to BD318 as compared to the identical period in 2009.

Bahrain’s median monthly earnings climbed 2.1 per cent to BD438, with the public sector’s increasing by 1.7 per cent to DB579 and the private sector’s going up 4.9 per cent to BD320.

These figures meant that the labour cost difference between expatriates and Bahrain natives in targeted areas like trade, restaurants, construction and small scale management went up by BD16 to BD235.

Data reported that the irregular workers at the close of June totaled 41,168 – which included 16,181 who were absent, 18,464 who had been fired and 6,523 who had expired visa.

This number did not take into account foreigners who worked illegally with someone else, domestic workers who worked illegally, employees with dependant visas and people who came into the nation with visitor visas but went to work right away.

There were also less new work visas issued in Q2, compared to Q2 last year.

The LMRA reported that the total of 36,362 new work visas issued in Q2 last year had shrunk down to 30,960 issued in the second quarter of 2010.

These visas were including 24,299 for regular employees, 186 for investors, 524 for temp employees and 6,021 for dependents.  Construction accounted for 34 per cent of all the new regular workers.

At the same time there were 36,140 renewed visas, 18,660 terminated and 2,819 expatriates moved to a different job.

Paul Holdsworth, Staff Writer, Gulf Jobs Market News
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