Syrian Labor crisis in Lebanon

on December 11, 2014

Lebanon, a country home for more than 4 million people is now hosting 1,200,000 Syrians, less than half of them are registered in the UN. In the refugee community, the needs are increasing daily and Syrians are running out from the basic needs as well as their savings, in order to make due, they accept lower wages.  The latter affect negatively the poor Lebanese communities as their wages are being pushed down along.

From the beginning of the Syrian crisis up until October, labor wages have been decreasing especially in the construction sector which relied on the Syrian Labor for more than 20 years. Crowded job market has been considered a serious by-product of the crisis and of the most crowded sectors is construction especially in the Bekaa area and in the North as the competition is mainly for jobs with no or relatively moderate skill requirements.

From October up until now, the situation has shifted. The borders are allowing Syrian to go out of Lebanon but are complicating entries. Scarcity of Labors are causing rising prices and scheduling problems, wages are currently going up, from 18 $ for the unskilled labor to approximately 20$ in Beirut. Contractors are making sure to relocate their labors from one finished site to a new project, as losing their teams could mean paying a lot more for a new set.

It remains to be seen if this unstable manpower will move apartment prices up or will it be only a temporary setback to the otherwise relatively thriving construction industry.