The International Labour Organisation (ILO) said on Monday that there are 1.4 million foreign labourers in the Kingdom of Jordan. The figure was revealed in a report issued by the organisation, which noted that it is equal to the number of local labourers.
As the title of the report reveals, “A Challenging Market Becomes More Challenging” and the IOL pointed out that Jordanians “are willing to work in any sector provided it is under decent working conditions.” Thus, when “migrant workers and Syrian refugees often work under harsh conditions, including late payment of wages, non-payment of overtime and long working hours,” these are conditions that make it “difficult for Jordanians to compete for jobs.”
It is estimated by the ILO that around 1.4 million Jordanians are currently employed, with another 210,000 unemployed.
The number of foreign labourers in Jordan has risen threefold over the past 15 years and this has had an impact on the Jordanian labour market and economy. “Although comprising only a fifth of the total number of non-Jordanian workers,” the ILO explained, “the presence of Syrians has introduced new challenges as well as new opportunities.”
Among the opportunities, there is the chance to make jobs more attractive to Jordanians, as well as other workers, said the international body. “There is a need to complement regulations aiming to limit the entry of migrants to certain sectors and occupations, with a comprehensive initiative to improve working conditions for everyone.”
The total population of Jordan stands at 9.33 million people, according to the 2015 census. This includes 6.613 million Jordanians and about 3 million foreigners. There are now 1.3 million Syrian refugees in the country.