In the first nine months of 2023, more than 630,000 Pakistanis left the country in search of better job opportunities abroad.
According to data released by the Bureau of Emigration & Overseas Employment, 633,108 Pakistanis were registered for overseas employment in the first nine months of the current calendar year i.e. till September.
Till July, the number of Pakistanis who left the country stood at 540,282. This means that during September over 92,000 Pakistanis left the country in search of employment.
A breakdown of the statistics shows that 275,433 out of those who left the country in the period under review were laborers while 141,282 were drivers. Those who left the country also included 6,351 engineers, 5,876 accountants, 2,580 doctors, and 1,194 teachers.
The occupational group-wise breakdown issued by the bureau shows that out of those who left, 17,058 were highly qualified, 35,414 were highly skilled, 232,933 were skilled, 65,922 were semi-skilled, while the vast majority i.e. 281,781 were unskilled.
Out of the total, 302,634 workers moved to Saudi Arabia, 173,561 to the United Arab Emirates, 44,567 to Oman and 44,777 Pakistanis left the country for Qatar. Other notable countries on the list include Malaysia (18,609), Bahrain (9,599), Romania (4,405), Greece (2,676), and Iraq (2,646).
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 any 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.