World Economy

Saudi Private Sector Employment Drops 38%

Saudi Private Sector Employment Drops 38%Saudi Private Sector Employment Drops 38%

The rate of employment among Saudis declined by 38% in the private sector during 2015 as compared to the year before, while it increased by 60% among expatriates.

This fact was revealed during a recent discussion by Shoura Council members, who said that the unemployment rate among nationals increased by 11.7%, Yahoo quoted local media as reporting.

Shoura member Abdullah Al-Otaibi also expressed concern over the rate of runaway maids, which reached 60% of the total number of them recruited last year.

A total of 86,549 domestic workers among the 847,927 workers who ran away from their workplaces during 2014, according to the annual report for 2014 released by the Ministry of Labor last Sunday.

Among the runaway workers, the report said, 40% were males and the rest were females.

Another member, Mishal Al-Salami, reviewed figures that expose the failure of the Nitaqat program, saying current figures in the report are contrary to the goals which include increasing the nationalization rate and decreasing the expatriate ratios.

Non-Saudi employment in the private sector increased during the past three years, with the numbers reaching 7,352,900 in 2012, 8,212,782 in 2013 and 8,471,364 in 2014, which is 85% of the total number of workers, while Saudis form just 40% of the employed population, he said, citing statistics.

Seed Al-Sheikh noted that the strategy has not contributed to solving the problem of unemployment, saying that Nitaqat and the wage protection programs have failed.

Fadwa Abu Merifa cited statistics of the ministry of interior, related to crime and terrorism, to highlight the dangers of declining national employment levels.