Ex-pat exodus lowers unemployment
Unemployment among the local Omani population has dropped since the introduction of the ex-pat visa ban. According to the National Centre for Statistics and Information, the unemploy- ment rate for Omanis between the ages of 25 and 29 dropped by 13.6% in November 2018, by 11% for those between 30 and 34 years of age, and 7.1% for locals from 35 to 39 years of age, as compa- nies replaced ex-pats with Omani workers. There has been a 3.4% reduction in the ex-pat labour force between October 2017 and 2018 and currently stands at 1.74m, down from 1.80m in Decem- ber 2017. The biggest drops were in the manufacturing, engineering, industrial, nancial, mining and construction sectors. The biggest drop was in the construction sector, which decreased by 13.69% to 572,596 in October 2018 from 650,983 at the end of December 2016. Oman introduced an ex-pat visa ban across various private sector industries and professions from January 2018. Initially the ban was in force for six months but was later extended to other elds of work and for further time. The ban is part of the country’s Omanisation project aimed at tackling Oman’s high unemployment levels among its citizens.