Oman sees unemployment among citizens fall after expat hiring bans

The sultanate has enacted a series of bans on recruiting foreigners in key sectors



Oman has seen unemployment drop among nationals after banning the employment of foreigners in some sectors, according to reports.

Times of Oman cited data from the National Centre for Statistics and information as confirming the trend, which comes following six-month extensions to bans on recruiting expats as sales representatives, construction workers and in the cleaning, workshop, carpentry, aluminium blacksmith and brick factory sectors.

Read: Oman extends six-month bans on recruiting foreign workers

The publication reported that unemployment among Omanis aged between 25 and 29 was down 13.6 per cent over the last month, with similar results among 30 to 34 year olds (11 per cent) and 35 to 39 year olds (7.1 per cent).

The number of foreign workers in the labour force also decreased 3.4 per cent year-on-year in October and decreased more than 56,000 in the year-to-date from 1.795 million at the end of last December to 1.739 million.

The largest decline was seen in the construction sector where the number of foreign workers decreased 13.69 per cent from December2106. The manufacturing (5.2 per cent), engineering (6.8 per cent) and industrial (5.9 per cent) sectors also saw their foreign workforce fall.

“Starting from 25 and above, which is the employment age and when people go looking for work, you can see that the unemployment levels have dropped,” Shashwar Al Balushi, head of the Labour Labs for the Tanfeedh programme for economic diversification told the publication.

“This reflects a good hiring of locals in the market. It is an indication of a positive effort from the private sector to hire Omanis.”

Another six-month ban on recruiting foreigners in 10 sectors was enacted in January and extended at the end of June.

It will be up for renewal early next year.

Read: Oman extends ban on hiring foreigners in 10 sectors, unveils new investment visa