Nomadic Workers

Oct 22, 2009 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s migrant workers and their remittances are unlikely to be seriously affected by the global economic slowdown, the Institute of Policy Studies said in a report.

But unskilled migrant workers, especially those in the construction industry, may be affected by the slowdown in construction and service sectors in Gulf economies such as Dubai which has been badly hit by the recession.

The report also said that recent studies suggest that in some sectors like health care, household domestic employment where demand for workers is more stable, loss of employment opportunities will be minimal.

However, the report said in some sectors workers might face problems like reduced wages or non-payment of wages or reduced working days. “Despite the emerging evidence that there will be a sharp decline in global remittance flows, Sri Lanka appears not to be at significant risk of experiencing a sharp downturn in inflows in the near term,” it said in a report.

The bulk of migrant workers from Sri Lanka are in the Middle East region, engaged in low skilled jobs and as housemaids, the report on the state of the island economy by the think tank said.

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