Labor market reforms cost SR15 billion
The Labor Ministry revealed it spends SR14.9 billion annually on reforming the labor market. The ministry explained that the expenditure goes on the implementation of short and medium range strategies.
On a related note, the ministry’s statistics show that Saudis are still a minority in the offices of private sector companies. The ministry collected data based on Nitaqat program that aims to encourage the employment of Saudi nationals. An estimated 389,000 Saudis are employed in companies listed under the Platinum category compared to 440,000 foreign workers.
The number of Saudi workers decreases in the Green category companies to 196,000, compared to 867,000 foreigners.
The ministry stated that 1.4 million Saudis work in the private sector, compared to 9.7 million expats, 3.4 million of whom work in Riyadh.
The ministry’s recent statistics estimated the number of unemployed males at 261,000. The unemployment rate for males in the Kingdom ranged varied from 61 percent to 76 percent from 1999 until 2013, except the sudden 9 percent rise in years 2006 and 2007.
The data of the ministry show the existence of 361,000 unemployed women. The ministry gave a hopeful note on the issue of female employment, which increased by 723% until December 2013, raising the number of Saudi female employees to 398,000. Females unemployment rate gradually went up from 15.8% in year 1999 to 33.2%.
In the current fiscal year, the Ministry of Labor issued 950,000 work visas. The ministry said the increase was due of several factors, including 219,000 visas issued for completing government contracts, in addition to the 69,000 seasonal visas.