KATHMANDU, Feb 19: The number of job-seekers leaving for overseas destinations has increased by 14.71 percent during the first seven months of the current fiscal year compared to the same period last year.
The Department of Foreign Employment (DoFE) states that a total of 237,686 job aspirants had secured work permits for foreign employment during the review period. Of the workers getting the work permits, 223,583 were male and 14,103 female.
Despite the government´s strict policy, the number of workers managing to land foreign jobs through individual channels stood at 22,059 during the period.
During the period, 16,740 workers had secured re-entry permission for destinations where they had worked before coming home on leave.
Malaysia maintained its position as the most popular destination, receiving 88,980 Nepali workers, followed by Saudi Arabia, which hosted a total of 40,785 Nepali youths during the review period. Malaysia and Saudi Arabia are home to around 400,000 and 500,000 Nepalis respectively.
Similarly, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) employed 40,785 and 28,724 Nepalis respectively during the period.
Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Qatar combined accounted for more than 93 percent of workers leaving for the overseas job market during the period.
Month-wise worker departures to those four destinations show that only the UAE and Qatar saw a rise in the arrivals of Nepalis during the month between mid-January and mid-February.
Data compiled by DoFE states that the number of workers heading for Malaysia dropped to 10,987 during the month from 14,759 recorded earlier. Similarly, workers reaching Saudi Arabia dropped to 7,562 during the month from 8,288 a month earlier.
However, the number of aspirants flying to the UAE and Qatar increased to 5,067 and 7,645 from 3,968 and 6,724 respectively over the month. The overall number of workers reaching international labor destinations during the month dropped to 37,481 from 40,684 recorded in the earlier month.
Foreign employment agents said the number of workers heading for overseas jobs increased though the demand from Malaysia and Saudi Arabia dropped.
“The decision of the Malaysian government to raise the salary of workers from January may have impacted negatively on the demand from Malaysia during the month,” said Kumud Khanal, vice-president of Nepal Association of Foreign Employment Agencies (NAFEA).