Bahrain's foreign workforce grows at nearly 8%

(Photo for illustrative purposes only)

(Photo for illustrative purposes only)

The number of foreign workers in Bahrain is increasing at twice the rate of nationals, new labour force statistics show.

The island kingdom’s total workforce increased 6.7 percent in the first quarter of 2013 compared to the same period last year, to 648,000 employees in both the public and private sectors.

The number of foreign workers grew by 7.7 percent compared to only 3.6 percent among nationals.

Expat workers topped half-a-million for the first time earlier this year and now make-up 77 percent of the total workforce.

The Labour Ministry report also shows Bahraini private sector salaries increased to BD508 ($1350).

It highlighted that 16 percent of Bahrainis in the private sector are paid less than BD250.

Public versus private sector salaries are contentious in the Gulf, where majority of nationals work for the government with bloated salaries.

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