Manpower export is bouncing back as Bangladesh sent a record 65,233 workers abroad in just October, 55 percent higher than in the previous month.
"A total of 65,233 workers went abroad in October alone to different job-destination countries, 23,225 workers more than the September's figure of 42,008 workers," according to the Bureau of Manpower Employment and Training (BMET).
BMET said a total of 383,032 Bangladeshi workers got jobs during the January-October period of the current calendar year 2021.
Like other sector, Covid-19 hit hard the manpower export in 2020, but the overall manpower export has rebounded this year with the pandemic receding after the second wave across the globe.
Manpower exporting agencies had been able to send only 217,669 workers in 2020 as major job-destination countries, including Saudi Arabia, had suspended air travel for a certain time to check the spread of coronavirus infections.
At present Saudi Arabia is hiring the largest number of workers from Bangladesh under an extended quota.
"Saudi Arabia has increased job quota for Bangladeshi workers to 40 percent from 30 percent in the private sector recently," said BMET sources.
According to BMET, Saudi Arabia hired about 78 percent of the total workers, sent by Bangladesh in the last 10 months of this year. The figure showed 298,290 workers, out of the 383,032 workers, went to Saudi Arabia during the January-October period of 2021.
Bangladesh sends workers mainly to 17 to 18 countries. Of those, the majority of the workers go to the Gulf States.
The BMET statistics revealed that after Saudi Arabia, Oman is the second-highest recruiter of Bangladeshi workers as this Gulf country recruited 29,380, followed by Singapore's 16,111, Jordan's 10,210, Qatar's 8,289 and the United Arab Emirates' (UAE) 5,857.
"We're hopeful the trend in the outflow of workers would continue in the remaining months this year and Bangladesh would be able to send a record number of workers abroad," said a BMET official.
He said that manpower exporting agencies have beefed up their contacts with different countries especially Saudi Arabia so that they can export more manpower there.
"If the present trend continues, Bangladesh would be able to send nearly 500,000 workers in 2021," he added.
The BMET official said Bangladesh should explore more jobs on the international market.
In the 14th meeting of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on his ministry, Expatriates' Welfare and Overseas Employment Minister Imran Ahmad said outflow of workers abroad has increased nowadays.
More than 150,000 workers went overseas between July and October and demand notes for workers are coming from various countries regularly, he said.
The minister said that the rate of overseas employment has returned to normal like before the coronavirus outbreak.
Over 13 million Bangladeshi workers have found jobs abroad since 1976. The migrant workers annually send $15-16 billion home as remittances. It is Bangladesh's second-largest source of foreign exchange earnings after its garment industry.