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Migrant workers find construction jobs in relative stability of Arakan State

Burma News International, Myanmar, 20 December 2021 - With Myanmar’s political turmoil leading to a bearish construction sector across much of the country, migrant workers with building experience are finding employment at construction sites in the relative stability of Arakan State.

Contractors are drawing the labourers to jobs in Arakan State, where most work for daily wages.

“The political situation in Yangon is not good, so we have to come to Arakan State to work at construction sites. Our team has more than 10 people,” said Ko Ye Nanda, a resident of Thaketa Township in Yangon Region.

The economic freefall that has followed the military’s February 1 coup — the World Bank predicts the economy will contract by 18% this year — has construction workers on the move in search of jobs, according to developers.

“Migrant workers have been in Arakan for a long time. Now they are seen more than before. The workers come here through the connections of construction companies. Some are working here and continue their work after getting married here,” said U Tun Hla Kyaw, secretary of the Arakan State Construction Entrepreneurs Association.

Ko Myo Thu, a carpenter from Hinthada Township in Ayeyarwady Region who now works in Arakan State, said he used to earn K10,000 daily when working in Naypyidaw but now earns K12,000 a day, helping his family to make ends meet.

Ko Aung Naing Tun, a construction engineer, said the recent influx of migrant labour into Arakan State’s construction sector reduced job opportunities for local construction workers.



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