in Regional News

Oman Reducing Expat Workforce

In an effort to employ more Omani citizens in the private sector, officials of this Gulf State announced that they will be replacing about 100,000 foreign workers with Omanis. Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser Al Bakri, Minister of Manpower in the Sultanate, confirmed that the government would like to see a reduction in the expat work force by about 33 percent, from the 39 percent it stands at now.

The public sector expat workforce accounts for 692,867 workers. If the most recent goals are met the number will be reduced to 586,272 within the coming year. The imbalance is even more skewed in the private sector where there are 1,308,981 expat employees out of a total workforce of 1,533,679 employees. Only 224,698 private sector workers are Omani citizens.

Oman is afraid that it will not be able to sustain continued expansion of the public sector workforce and is therefore taking steps to place more Omanis into private sector jobs. Omani officials foresee a public sector wage bill rise of $2.3 billion this year in wake of the royal command to standardize salaries and grades throughout the public sector. Between 2011 and 2013 Oman greatly increased government spending on welfare programs, public sector salaries and creation of jobs in order to meet the demands of protestors demanding more jobs and the elimination of corruption.
The International Monetary Fund stepped in to warn Oman to control government spending. They urged the Sultanate to increase non-oil revenues to side-step never-ending budget deficits.

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