4.5m new jobs set for Saudi labor market, say experts
The Saudi government’s rising investment in infrastructure projects in the Kingdom would create nearly 2 million direct and another 2.5 million indirect jobs, local media said quoting a special report.
Saudization programs have so far created about 600,000 jobs for citizens but this figure was small compared to the number of unemployed young Saudis, the report said.
Focusing on youth unemployment in Arab countries, the report said 43 percent of Saudi graduates are jobless, with 22 percent and 14 percent in Morocco and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) respectively.
A considerable portion of graduates in the Arab World, notably in the Arabian Gulf, prefer to work in the government sector in the belief that salary packages are far better than the private sector, the report said.
According to experts, the private sector in Arab countries has the potential to create many jobs if there is appropriate investment and government support. The building of public and private partnerships, localization policies, imposition of fees on expatriate visas, and deportation of illegal workers in some countries, especially the Gulf Cooperation Council, have generally created jobs for citizens in these countries, the experts said.
However, the number of expatriate workers in the private sector was still on the rise and could possibly go up to 99 percent in Qatar and the UAE, the report said.
Referring to the King Abdullah Scholarship Program, the report said the program would pump nearly SR9 billion into higher education to support 130,000 Saudi students abroad by the end of 2020.