World Economy

Expats in Saudi Arabia Sent Home $41b

Expats in Saudi Arabia Sent Home $41bExpats in Saudi Arabia Sent Home $41b

Remittances by expatriates in Saudi Arabia reached an all-time high of SR156.9 billion ($41.6 billion) in 2015, up 2.3% from a total of SR153.3 billion in remittances during 2014.

In all, SR1.5 trillion in remittances sent by expatriates in the country have been recorded over a 22-year period, Arabian Business reported.

The increase in expatriate remittances coincides with the issuance of 1.8 million new work permits to expats from several foreign countries during the past Islamic calendar year, about 4.8% of which received government recommendations through contracts or endorsements.

This comes at a time when the state has been exerting extensive efforts to improve nationalization levels to reduce the 11.5% unemployment level among Saudis.

According to economic reports, the average monthly transfer by an expatriate in the country was SR1,440 in 2015, while the total number of expatriates working in the private sector in 2015 reached about 9 million employees, in addition to 72,000 in the public sector.

Data from the Saudi Statistics Authority indicates the total number of expatriates in the country reached 10.7 million by the end of 2014, bringing the average monthly remittance of expatriates (employees or non-employees) to SR1,300 per month.

During the Shoura Council meeting last week, the minister of labor confirmed the 11.5% unemployment level in 2015 makes it the lowest in the last five years.

As for the number of expatriates working in the private sector, he said the number of employees increased by 6.3% from 8.47 million workers in 2014 to about 9 million employees.

The results of the manpower survey or the first half of 2015, conducted by the Saudi Statistics Authority, showed the Saudi labor force stood at 11.9 million.