Muscat: The number of expatriate workers in the Sultanate fell by 9.3 per cent in the first half of 2020, compared to the same period last year, according to statistics released by the National Centre for Statistics and Information (NCSI).
The number of non-Omani workers in the private sector dropped by 10.1 per cent while expatriate workers in the domestic sector and the government sector saw a decrease of 6.2 per cent and 5.7 per cent, respectively. The NCSI monthly statistics showed that the number of expatriate workers in the Sultanate was 1,589,883 by the end of June including 1,259,814 employed by the private sector, 277,000 in the domestic sector, and 52,462 in the government sector. The number of expatriate workers registered by the end of 2019 was 1,712,798 of which 79.6 per cent were working in the private sector, 17.2 per cent in the domestic sector, and 3.2 per cent in the public sector.
Bangladeshis, Indians, Pakistanis in top 3
Breaking the data further nationality-wise, Bangladeshi workers made up 37.2 per cent (590,748) of the total expatriates in the first half of this year, a decrease of 8.9 per cent compared with the corresponding period of 2019. Indian workers registered were 567,341 - down by 11.2 per cent, as compared to previous year. Pakistani workers came in third place with 192,676, a decrease of 8.9 per cent. Filipino and Egyptian workers registered 47,537 and 33,234, respectively.
Speaking to Gulf News in this context, a senior staff of a prominent HR Consultancy firm based in Oman said that since March this year, due to the pandemic many expatriates lost their jobs and have gone back to their native countries. “While this gave the organisations a chance to weed out unproductive staff, it also resulted in mass redundancies. When volume of sales or revenue hits the bottom, companies too have to think of sustainable strategies. It is the survival of the best in this context, not the fittest.”
It is relevant to mention that 18,000 Indian nationals returned to India on Vande Bharat Mission flights from Oman that started on May 9, and not including the phase 5 which is currently ongoing. In addition to this more than 38,000 Indian nationals have travelled to India on 216 charter flights operated by social organisations and various other organisations.