More than 300,000 workers have lost their jobs in the Sultanate of Oman over the past two years mostly due to the pandemic, said the Minister of Economy, Dr Said bin Mohammed Al-Saqri. The vast majority were foreign expats.
In an interview with Oman TV, the minister said: "The huge impact of the pandemic was not expected by anyone in the world, and there is no doubt that the economy was affected, especially the private sector."
"We shouldn't measure the performance of the private sector in 2020 and 2021, due to the pandemic conditions, low demand and other reasons that led to the exodus of about 300,000 workers from their jobs. Of them, around 7,500 were Omanis."
The Times of Oman also reports that since the beginning of this year until 16 March, over 475 Omani workers have been laid off, mostly in the contracting and construction sector.
Citing figures from the National Centre for Statistics and Information (NCSI), Gulf News reported that in 2021, over 58,000 expats left the sultanate, although the expat population has been on the rise since October 2021.
According to Al-Saqri, the private sector is expected to grow across various economic sectors, noting that foreign investment in the country had increased over the last year.
Amid fiscal reforms and supported by higher oil and gas output along with increased investment, Oman's economy will grow by four per cent this year, according to global credit ratings agency S&P Global Ratings, who on Friday raised its foreign and local currency sovereign credit ratings for the country to 'BB-' from 'B+', a first ratings upgrade by the agency in over a decade.