Amelia Rahima Sari, Jakarta – Internet rumors about foreign workers in Indonesia's workforce once sparked public outrage after a large number of them reportedly arrived in Indonesia amid the pandemic mobility restriction. However, how many foreign workers actually are there and which country did they hail from?
Citing Bisnis.com on Wednesday, May 26, the Ministry of Manpower (Kemnaker) explained that the population of foreign workers in Indonesia continued to drop within the past three years.
Up to May of this year, there are 92,058 foreign workers employed by companies operating in Indonesia. This statistic is lower compared to the previous years such as in 2020 that logged 93,374 workers in Indonesia.
An article written by Djazuli (2021) titled "The Dynamics of Regulating Foreign Workers in Indonesia" (Dinamika Pengatur Tenaga Kerja Asing di Indonesia) wrote that most of these workers came from China with a claimed total of 35,781 (36.17 percent).
Meanwhile, the number of foreign workers in Indonesia amount to 95,168 people in 2019.
The abundance of Chinese foreign workers was once subject to criticism by senior economist Faisal Basri as reported by Tempo on Thursday, July 29. Faisal said the workers that arrived in Indonesia were not only skilled workers but also field laborers.
Political observer Refly Harun in one of his Youtube vlogs mentioned that the foreign workers were not only skilled experts but also included drivers, gardeners, and security personnel.