The country's overseas employment dropped by more than 24 per cent in the first nine months of the current calendar year compared to that of the previous year, official statistics showed.
It happened, as manpower recruitment by Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) has declined significantly this year that has created a negative impact on overall overseas job scenario, sector insiders said.
A total of 555,393 Bangladeshis found job abroad from January to September of 2018. The number was 736,461 in the corresponding period of 2017, according to Bureau of Manpower Employment and Training (BMET).
KSA is the largest job market for Bangladeshis, which hired a total of 412,397 workers in the first nine months of 2017. The number reduced to 187,223 workers in the matching period of 2018.
Other middle-eastern (ME) countries also hired lower number of workers during the period this year than the previous year.
In the first nine months of the current year, Qatar recruited 56,708 workers from Bangladesh, Oman 53,372, and Kuwait 25,652.
But the three countries hired 64,396, 66,073, and 37,861 workers respectively in the first nine months of 2017, the official figure showed.
Some manpower recruiters and officials at Ministry of Expatriates' Welfare and Overseas Employment said the declining trend may continue in the remaining months of this year.
They said employment opportunities have shrunk significantly in KSA. Bangladeshi workers are not getting jobs there like before. A number of workers, being jobless, returned home, while many others are afraid of termination, they said.
Besides, Malaysia has also suspended manpower recruitment from Bangladesh through the existing system under 'G2G Plus' deal due to some alleged unethical practices.
The south-east Asian country is now working to launch a new system for hiring manpower. So until introduction of the process, labour migration to the country will remain stopped.
So, the goal of sending 1.2 million workers abroad in 2018, as fixed by the ministry, is likely to be failed, sector insiders said.
However, Benjir Ahmed, president of Bangladesh Association of International Recruiting Agencies (BAIRA), said the negative trend will not continue for long.
At the end of the year, the number of employment will increase notably, he added.
More than 11 million Bangladeshis went abroad with employment since 1976, as per BMET data.
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