BLMI Newsletter Q1 2010

 Total employment decreased to reach 593,660 by the end of Q1 2010

The total number of employed persons in Bahrain at the end of 2010 Q1 decreased from 597,592 in Q1 2009 to reach 593,660 by the end of Q1 2010.

LMRA`s newsletter letter which monitors changes of key labour market indicators on quarterly basis announced a substantial decrease in the annual growth rate of foreign worker employment to reach 0.1% by the end of 2010. Bahraini worker employment increased in Q1 2010 compared to Q1 2009 to reach 138,356 persons, while the annual growth rate continued decreasing to reach -3%.

Average monthly wages increased to 314 BD representing an increase of 2.6% compared to Q1 2009. The number of new work visas issued by LMRA during Q1 2010 for regular workers decreased by 27.5% compared to the same quarter last year. 44% of the new work visas were for small organizations (less than 10 workers).

LMRA’s CEO Mr. Ali Radhi said that the total number of new visas issued by LMRA during 2010 Q1 was 33,021, of which 24,988 were for regular workers, 139 for investors, 1,653 for temporary workers and 6,241 for dependents. Compared with the same quarter a year before, the total number of work visas issued by LMRA witnessed a decrease: 33,021 in 2010 Q1 against 44,014 in 2009 Q1.

The total number of visa renewals was 48,268 in 2010 Q1 of which 37,770 were for regular workers, 84 for investors, 277 for temporary workers and 10,137 for dependents. Contrary to the pattern of new visas, the number of renewals has increased during 2010 Q1 (Annual growth rate of 42.5% for renewal of regular workers visas).

In 2010 Q1, the total number of terminations was 18,909, of which 16,047 were for regular workers, 12 for investors, 1,016 for temporary workers and 1,834 for dependents.

Construction continued to be the economic sector with the highest number of new work visas for regular workers (31%), followed by wholesale and retail trade (23%), and manufacturing (15%).

The number of foreign workers changing employers (mobility transactions) during Q1 2010 was 2,300. Unlike the previous quarter, the percentage of mobility after termination or expiry of work visas has a bigger share of 64% in comparison to 48% last quarter. While mobility with consent of previous employers share decreased from 50% to 36% only. And only 11 transactions were for mobility without consent of previous employers representing 0% of total.

Similar to last quarter, mobility made by Wholesale and retail, Construction, and Real estate sectors represented 63% of total. Mobility transactions made by economic units of 1-10 workers registered the highest number of mobility transactions (1,082) representing 46% share of total.

The median wage of Bahraini employees is still increasing gradually to reach BD 440 in Q1 2010 representing a change of 6.5% in comparison to the same quarter last year (BD 413, Q1 2009).

The increase is more obvious in the private sector with a growth rate of %9.6 (BD 319).
The labour cost gap between Bahraini and non-Bahraini workers in the target sectors (construction, trade, hotels and restaurants and small scale manufacturing) continues its expansion to reach BD 233 showing a slight increment in comparison to the last quarter (BD 2) but a marked increment of (BD 31) in comparison to the same quarter last year.

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