The employment of non-Bahrainis decreased to 535,022 workers by the end of the fourth quarter last year compared with 592,233 workers in the same quarter the year before.
“The decrease was primarily due to a slowdown in issuance of new work permits, and the termination and cleansing of expired domestic work permits,” said the report.
Bahrain, like any other country, has been affected by Covid-19 including job losses among expatriates and citizens and travel restrictions by labour-sending countries that halted new recruitments.
Data further shows that the LMRA had issued 35,030 new work permits during 2020 Q4, posting a decrease at an annual rate of 19.6pc.
“The total number of permits issued decreased, compared with 50,706 permits issued in the fourth quarter of 2019,” the report added.
Work permits in the construction sector topped the list with 29.4pc, followed by the wholesale and retail sector (19.7pc) and the accommodation and food service activities sector (11.5pc).
The labour watchdog added that the construction sector witnessed the largest termination of work permits during the period, 8,830, while a total of 33,605 visas were cancelled.
“The number of permit renewal transactions processed by the LMRA in the fourth quarter (of 2020) was 49,302, of which 38,912 were for employment permits, 1,263 for investors, and 9,127 for dependants.
“The total number of renewals decreased compared with 95,577 in the fourth quarter of 2019.”
The downward trend continued during the fourth quarter of last year with data indicating the constant drop in the number of domestic workers over the years.
The total number of domestic workers reached 65,628 (including 45,962 females), compared with 84,010 in the same quarter in 2019 – a decrease of 21pc.
In addition, despite the pandemic last year, the LMRA issued a total of 5,008 new visas for the above segment of workers, according to the data.
The LMRA said it processed 16,468 job mobility applications from foreign workers during the fourth quarter of last year, allowing them to switch employers.
The data also showed that the average wage for Bahrainis for the fourth quarter of last year was registered at BD545, compared with BD528 in the corresponding period in 2019.
However, employees in the public sector were better off – earning an average income of BD705 compared with BD447 in the private sector.
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