Over 87 per cent of Pakistanis seeking jobs abroad went to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Saudi Arabia last year, data released by Pakistan has revealed.
According to the data shared by the Bureau of Emigration and Overseas Employment as quoted by the State Bank of Pakistan, the inflow of remittances from workers overseas has remained high despite the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, with the country having received approximately $5.4 billion from Saudi Arabia and $4.7 billion from the UAE.
This resulted in a growth of 8.6 per cent in the last fiscal year and the overall delivery of $23 billion in remittances with growth rate of over six per cent.
Despite that growth, however, almost 70 per cent of the Pakistani workers registered for employment were under the category of labourers and drivers last year, making the vast majority of them unable to enter white collar fields which the Emiratis in particular prefer to give to Indian workers.
The workers in the Gulf countries, particularly in Saudi Arabia, are also reportedly under risk of losing their jobs due to the low oil prices and drop in global oil consumption after the oil price war between Saudi and Russia earlier this year.
In the UAE, the workers are set to suffer due to the fall in tourism to the country as a result of the coronavirus closures in recent months.
The data showed that, as compared with their job status in the Gulf nations, Pakistani workers have better job opportunities in the United States after Pakistan received $4.2 billion in remittances and a 26 per cent growth in the last fiscal year. Even that location for Pakistani workers and remittances is predicted to suffer, however, as over 40 million people have lost their jobs since the respiratory virus spread throughout the country.