March of progress: Oman witnesses 800% rise in govt employees in 4 decades

Business Saturday 07/September/2019 21:24 PM
By: Times News Service

Muscat: The number of people employed in the government sector in Oman rose by more than 800 per cent in four decades, between 1979 and 2018.

By the end of 2018, nearly 250,000 people were employed by the public sector in the Sultanate.

Data released by the National Centre for Statistics and Information (NCSI) revealed that 231,593 people worked in Oman’s government sector in 2018, up from 28,681 people in 1979, reflecting an increase of 807 per cent.

In addition to this, the number of people working in the government’s private sector almost tripled in the last 20 years, rising from 547,741 in 1998 to 1,687,285 people in 2018.

A significant reason for this increase was an advancement in Oman’s expansion plans and infrastructure, social and economic development projects, which led to more workers being required by the Ministry of Manpower and other government bodies.

In this context, an official from the Ministry of Manpower told Times of Oman, “This rise in employment has spurred Oman’s Ministry of Manpower to try and regulate Oman’s workforce in order to ensure more opportunities for Omanis in the private sector. Of course, hiring Omanis is a necessity in order to provide them with the opportunities they need, and the ministry also hopes to raise the Omanisation rate in the private sector.

“The ministry projects involve in the employment sector but also in vocational training and technical education, where it aims to raise the efficiency of employment processes and vocational training,” he added.
In 1978, around 60 per cent of the government workforce consisted of expats (60.4 per cent), while as of 2018 that percentage had drastically reduced, with current Omanisation rate standing at 84.5 per cent in 2018, according to NCSI data.

In 1978, there were 28,681 employees in Oman’s government, which rose to 75,109 in 1988, 80,968 in 1998, 118,990 in 2008, and then finally shot up to 231,593 in 2018.

The number of private sector employees also increased exponentially, rising from 501,543 expats and 46,171 Omanis registered in the private sector’s Public Authority for Social Insurance in 1998, to 794,935 expats and 147,194 Omanis in 2008, to 1,435,153 expats and 252,132 Omanis in the private sector in 2018.

In 2018, the government sector employed 84.5 per cent Omanis, while the Omanisation rate in the private sector was 14.9 per cent. As many as eight government bodies didn’t have a single expat worker in 2018, including Authority of Manpower Register itself and the Oman Human Rights Commission, in addition to the National Youth Commission and the National Museum. Furthermore, most of the other authorities in Oman had fewer than 10 expat employees.