An official at the Saudi Ministry of Labor said today that nearly 3.5 million Saudis applied for unemployment benefits under the recently announced national program to help job seekers. Media sources quoted the general supervisor of the Information Technology, Ministry of Labour Abdullah Hagbani as saying, during a news conference, said that “3.5 million Saudis applied for unemployment benefits,” asserting that “this number is not final because some of these presented more than one application, or misunderstood the nature of the government program.”
The number of unemployed is officially estimated at 448 thousand citizens, which prompted the Saudi official to talk about the excessive number of applications. Hagbani did not mention a timetable for implementing the program of unemployment benefits, which averaged 10% at the end of 2010 in the Kingdom.
Plans for employing Saudis in the private sector have not achieved their goals. The number of Saudi employees in this sector constitutes just 10%, although 84% of the total expats are in possession of only secondary school certificates with no-specialization.
The Saudi labor market includes about eight million foreign workers, according to the Central Bank of Saudi Arabia, of whom more than six million are employed in the private sector, remit US$ 25 billion annually in the form of bank transfers to their countries of origin .
It is noteworthy that the program for unemployment benefits has been launched following royal decrees, after King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz declared last March the allocation of US$ 93 billion to increase wages, to create jobs and to allocate benefits for unemployed Saudis. Source: yallafinance.com .