Migrant outflow rises but earnings drop
Overseas employment for Bangladeshis increased 35 percent this year from last year but remittance inflow declined 11 percent almost over the same period of time, according to the Refugee and Migratory Movements Research Unit.
Some 7.5 lakh Bangladeshis got jobs abroad from January to December 27. The figure was 5.55 lakh last year, Prof Tasneem Siddiqui, founding chairperson of the RMMRU, said yesterday.
She was speaking while revealing a report titled -- “Pattern and Trends of Labour Migration 2016: Achievements and Challenges” -- at a press conference in the capital's Jayita Press Club.
This year's figure is the highest since 2008 when Bangladesh's overseas employment reached at 8.75 lakh, according to Bureau of Manpower Employment and Training (BMET) data.
Bangladesh received $12.65 billion remittance this year until November. It got $15.31 billion last year, Prof Tasneem said.
“This year, the decline in oil prices in the global market has seriously affected the [job] markets of the Middle Eastern countries where more than 80 percent of Bangladeshi migrants are working,” she said while talking about the reason for the fall in remittance inflow.
Referring to a recent World Bank report on remittance-earning countries, she said, Bangladesh was at the seventh spot but it might have slipped to the 10th position by now.
Prof Tasneem said this year the highest amount of remittance came from Saudi Arabia followed by the United Arab Emirates, the United States and Malaysia.
The highest number of Bangladeshis -- over 1.82 lakh -- was hired by Oman followed by Saudi Arabia with 1.26 lakh, Qatar 1.16 lakh, Bahrain around 69,000 and Singapore with around 53,000 Bangladeshis.
The markets in the UAE and Malaysia were frustrating as they were not recruiting any Bangladeshis, she said.
“Middlemen, both in Bangladesh and in Malaysia, are exploiting the migrant jobseekers by alluring them with false job recruitment notices.”
Quoting the RMMRU report, Prof Tasneem said Bangladeshi female workers' migration has also increased compared to last year's figures.
But only 43 percent of the Bangladeshis migrated as skilled workers while only 17 percent as semi-skilled and over 40 percent as unskilled workers, RMMRU said.
There is no government data on the migrants who returned home. The RMMRU claimed that about 27 percent Bangladeshis might have returned.
Eminent jurist Dr Shahdeen Malik, among others, also spoke at the programme yesterday.