Due to the Lebanese economic and financial crisis, the number of Arab (excluding Syrians and Palestinians) and foreign workers in Lebanon has decreased by about 92,000 in 2020 compared to 2019. 143,532 work permits have been renewed in 2020 compared to 203,263 in 2019 and 11,453 new work permits have been issued in 2020 compared to 43,825 in 2019. This means that the total foreign employment in Lebanon has decreased from 247,088 in 2019 to 154,985 in 2020, a decline of 92,103 or 37.3%.  

Lebanon had also around 100,000-150,000 illegal workers, about half of whom have left the country in 2020 as a result of the crisis. Therefore, the number of foreign workers has decreased from about 400,000 in 2019 to about 230,000 in 2020. The following table shows a dramatic decline in numbers of domestic workers, down from 182,377 in 2019 to 117,869 in 2020, i.e. a decline of 64,508.

A table showing the number of new and renewed work permits (2014-2020).

Source: Information International based on the Ministry of Labor’s figures.