The country’s overseas employment dropped by 18 percent in the first six months of the current year following a reduction in recruitment by Middle Eastern nations, official data showed.
A total of 332,754 workers went abroad with jobs during the period between January and June this year while 392,002 workers in the same period of the previous year, according to the data of Bureau of Manpower Employment and Training (BMET). Overseas jobs also have shrunk in recent months as some countries like Malaysia and United Arab Emirates (UAE) stopped hiring Bangladeshi workers.
Manpower recruiters said if traditional job markets do not reopen soon, it will be tough to maintain the previous uptrend in migration from Bangladesh. They also stressed the need for exploring job opportunities in prospective countries.
Bangladesh sent 734,181 workers abroad in 2018 while 1,008,525 in 2017.
Middle Eastern countries such as Saudi Arabia, Oman, Qatar and Kuwait have reduced the recruitment of foreign workers following sluggish development works.
As part of its policy reform, Saudi Arabia has engaged more local workers in its different sectors. Besides, Oman is discouraging recruitment of low-skilled workers from Bangladesh.
However, the officials at the Ministry of Expatriates’ Welfare and Overseas Employment said they were now focusing more on quality migration.
If the number of outbound workers declines, it will not create problem as they will send more skilled workers abroad, the officials added.
The flow of inward remittances grew by 9.65 per cent to US$ 1.44 billion in the just-concluded fiscal year (FY) as the exchange rate of local currency maintained a depreciating mode against US dollar.
Strengthening supervision and monitoring by the central bank to check illegal ‘hundi’ transaction has also helped raise the inflow of remittances, officials said.
Remittance inflow hit record $16.42 billion in FY 2019 against $14.98 billion a year before, according to the Bangladesh Bank’s latest statistics.
The BMET data revealed that Saudi Arabia recruited 188,747 workers in last six months, followed by Oman 37,352, Qatar 36,070 and Singapore 23,399.
Over 12 million workers were sent abroad since 1976, the official data showed. Bangladesh received $12.77 billion in remittance in FY 2017 while $14.93 billion in FY 2016.
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