Trends of Manpower Export by Pakistan (2008-2017)

Pakistan provides the entire world skilled and unskilled human resource which remits valuable capital. They emigrate either through Overseas Employment Promoters (OEPs) or Direct Method. This article discusses the export of Pakistani manpower for the last 10 years, facilitated by the Bureau of Emigration and Overseas Employment.

Flow of Pakistani Emigrants (2008-2017)

Major trends

  • Consistent rise in emigration started in 2012 and reached its peak in 2015
  • 2016 saw downfall that dramatically increased in 2017
  • The recorded downfall is 40.86% in comparison with 2016, which implies two cases: either nationwide opportunities have increased or, overseas policies have discouraged emigration.

Country wise Migration (2016 and 2017)

Major Trends

  • Decline of 69% in emigration to Saudi Arabia in comparison to 2016.
  • Minimal decline in emigration to UAE, which is likely to decrease further if investment in UAE real estate worth $8 billion by Pakistanis was investigated officially by any of the countries.
  • Emigration to other GCC countries have sustained.
  • 20% increase in emigration to Qatar after Pakistani workers were offered 0.1 million jobs
  • 70% decrease in emigration to Saudi Arabia due to three major reasons: strict labor policies; unofficial practices by Saudi ‘Kafils’; and Saudi vision of encouraging locals in the market.

Region wise Emigration Patterns

Major Trends

  • All regions witnessed decline in emigration except northern areas where it was increased by 15.4%.
  • KP is more attracted to foreign employment in comparison to Sindh.

Skill Wise Emigration

Major Trends

  • Decline in emigration in skilled, un-skilled and semi- skilled categories.
  • Trend sustained in highly qualified category.
  • Rise in the emigration of highly skilled category.
  • It implies that overseas employment now relies more on highly qualified and highly skilled migrants

Mode of Employment

Major Trends

  • As discussed, there are two legal ways through which any Pakistani can proceed for overseas employment: direct method (self-efforts) and registration through OEPs.
  • Trends in 2016 have reversed in 2017, as emigrants preferred going through direct method.
  • Saudi Arabia still remains to be the major destination for employment.
  • Emigration trend through direct method is mainly towards Europe.
  • Emigration trend through OEPs is mainly towards GCC except UAE.

Trends of Most in Demand Occupations

Major Trends

  • Considerable increase can be seen in the given professions in comparison to 2016.

Declining Occupations

Major Trends

  • The report shows similar declining pattern to that of 2016.
  • Labors and drivers have been affected the most.
  • Decline in oil prices has caused reduction in the emigration of unskilled/low skilled workers.
  • Further decline is expected in the driver category, owing to Saudi government’s permission to women driving.


The source of information for this article is Export of Manpower Analysis Complete Report 2017, published by Bureau of Emigration and Overseas Employment.

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