In the first eight months of 2023, more than 540,000 Pakistanis left the country in search of better job opportunities abroad.
According to data obtained from the Bureau of Emigration & Overseas Employment, 540,282 Pakistanis were registered for overseas employment in the first eight months of the current calendar year i.e. till August.
Till July, the number of Pakistanis who left the country stood at 450,110. This means that during August over 90,000 Pakistanis left the country in search of employment.
A breakdown of the statistics shows that 232,749 out of those who left the country in the period under review were laborers while 118,172 were drivers. Those who left the country also included 5,589 engineers, 5,216 accountants, 2,261 doctors, and 1,012 teachers.
The occupational group-wise breakdown issued by the bureau shows that out of those who left, 15,052 were highly qualified, 31,130 were highly skilled, 197,719 were skilled, 57,516 were semi-skilled, while the vast majority i.e. 238,865 were unskilled.
Out of the total, 251,655 workers moved to Saudi Arabia, 147,960 to the United Arab Emirates, 39,901 to Oman and 39,479 Pakistanis left the country for Qatar. Other notable countries on the list include Malaysia (17,647), Bahrain (8,518), Romania (4,175), Greece (2,623), and Iraq (2,373).
It is pertinent to mention here that the Bureau of Emigration & Overseas Employment data pertains to people who have registered with the Bureau. People who move abroad for studies or through other routes such as direct immigration are not included in this list.
Last year, 832,339 Pakistanis proceeded abroad for the purpose of employment, the highest figure since 2016.