Three million young Ethiopians are estimated to enter the labour force every year. Despite undertaking mega employment intensive projects in the manufacturing, construction as well as trade and services sector, the Government of Ethiopia still faces challenges in ensuring productive employment opportunities for both rural and urban youth. Therefore, Ethiopians tend to look for job opportunities abroad.
Ethiopia, as a major labour sending country is now facing an increased return rate of Ethiopian migrants. Countries such as Saudi Arabia have started deporting, in mass, undocumented Ethiopian migrants to their country as part of the “Saudization” of the KSA labour market aimed at creating job opportunities for young unemployed Saudis and regularization of the labour market. Between November 2013 and March 2014, more than 163,018 Ethiopian migrants were forcibly repatriated. Moreover, following the declaration of the KSA Government in March 2017 marking the end of the final amnesty period for all irregular migrants to voluntarily leave the country, an estimated 190,000 Ethiopians are estimated to have returned.