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February saw 10-month low for Bangladeshi foreign employment

February saw 10-month low for Bangladeshi foreign employment
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Due to a decline in work prospects in Malaysia and Oman, Bangladeshis’ employment abroad reached a ten-month low in February.

Recruiting companies report that the previous three months have seen a decline in the flow of new hires, and that trend may continue as the government is hesitant to transfer workers abroad due to claims of joblessness in Malaysia and other places.

The Bureau of Manpower, Employment, and Training (BMET) report that in the second month of 2024, Bangladesh—a country that mostly depends on remittance income—sent 74,306 workers, which represents a decline of almost 32% year over year and 15.42% month over month.

Remittances to Bangladesh totaled $2.16 billion in February, a noteworthy 38.46% year-over-year rise and the largest monthly inflow in the previous eight months, notwithstanding the fall in labour migration.

In the past few months, Malaysia employed approximately 22,000 people every month. But in February, the nation in Southeast Asia employed just 6,115 people.

In addition, Oman has not granted visas to the majority of Bangladeshis since last November due to claims of a labour surplus, which has caused a sharp decline in the employment of Bangladeshi migrants.

Approximately 10,000 Bangladeshi labourers were hired by the Gulf nation each month last year, while no jobs were filled in the previous month.

“Due to several job-related issues, the government is prioritising high-quality migration. This has led to stricter regulations on sending people abroad, resulting in a lower overall staff turnover rate,” said Ali Haider Chowdhury, secretary general of the Bangladesh Association of International Recruiting Agencies (Baira).

He further said the large labour market in Malaysia has also been affected by these regulations.

However, the recent figures are still significant as Bangladesh usually sent 60,000-70,000 workers abroad in the pre-Covid period.

Labour recruiters said workers who were unable to migrate in 2020 and 2021 due to the pandemic have done so in subsequent years, which has boosted a huge jump in migration.

Saudi Arabia remains top destination

Traditionally, Saudi Arabia stands as the top destination for Bangladeshi workers, and February was no exception, with the country hiring 44,083 workers.

Although the majority of these recruits were low-skilled construction workers, such as cleaners, and housemaids, the Gulf nation plans to hire more health workers from Bangladesh in the coming months.

After Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Malaysia, Qatar, Singapore, Kuwait, and Jordan were the top destinations in February.

Malaysia job market closes on 31 May 

The ongoing process of hiring Bangladeshi workers to Malaysia will be closed by 31 May.

Malaysia reopened its labour market in December 2021 after a four-year pause and soon emerged as the second-largest employer of Bangladeshi workers internationally, just behind Saudi Arabia.

Malaysian Home Minister Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution Ismail last week said the deadline enables Malaysia to evaluate the effectiveness and accurately assess the need for foreign labour in the country.

“This decision is also expected to prevent the exploitation of foreign workers as reported by various media channels before,” he added.

Shamim Ahmed Chowdhury Noman, former secretary general of Baira, told TBS, “The quota that was in the current flow should be completed by May.”

Since the opening of the Malaysian labour market, 4.26 lakh people have already left Bangladesh, and another 60,000 to 80,000 are expected to go soon, he added.

However, a concerning downside persists as numerous workers, predominantly in Saudi Arabia, Malaysia, and Oman, face challenges in securing employment due to fake job offers in recent months.

Malaysia-bound workers are paying 4.5 lakh to 5.00 lakh, despite the expatriate welfare ministry fixing the rate at Tk79,000. Source: TBS

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Daily Dazzling Dawn is the first and only international and non-profitable newspaper, which is 100% ownership of professional journalists from Bangladeshi origin with 20 years of experience in global journalism. The main aim of the newspaper is promoting ethical journalism with truth, accuracy and proficiency.

Editor in Chief

Dulal Ahmed Chowdhury

Dulal Ahmed Chowdhury is the Editor of The Daily Dazzling Dawn. Previously, he has been serving in important positions in all the famous national dailies of the Bangladesh since the nineties. He has played a commendable role in journalism by participating in various events at the national and international levels. United Nations Conference, World Climate Conference, SAARC Summit are notable among them.

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