on the importance of guest workers.
number is] now over 600,000, which is to say about a
quarter of the population. But that doesn't begin to
convey how important they are, because something like…a
little under 80% of the foreign workers are between
the ages of 20 and 44. And they're overwhelming male.
Something like 77% are male. And almost all of them
come from the Indian subcontinent.
what you have is an incredibly distorted demography
with a huge population of particularly South Asian males
of a certain age, and they heavily outnumber Omanis.
In fact foreigners make up two thirds of the labor force,
because there are so many Omanis under the age of 15.
And depending on which sector of the economy, it's either
more or less than that.
what, what has happened in Oman and actually in all
of the Arabian peninsular countries is that most natives
end up in the public sector, in the government. That
has status, that is secure; people don't have to work
very hard. So there, there really isn't a huge appetite
to work in the private sector. So one of the things
that the Omani government is doing is trying very hard
to privatize and to push people out of the government
sector into the private sector.
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