Apr 13, 2018
RIYADH — More than 350,000 new jobs are likely to be created in the Kingdom, said an official report issued by the General Authority for Statistics (GaStat).
Of these jobs 140,000 will go to Saudis while the rest (210,000) will be occupied by expatriate workers, it added.
GaStat said that last year there were 116,000 vacant positions, including 35,000 in the trade, hospitality and restaurants sector and 21,600 in the construction sector.
GaStat expects nearly 107,000 new jobs in the trade, hospitality and restaurant sectors, 66,000 in the construction sector and over 56,000 in the industry sector.
The agriculture and hunting sector is expected to have 7,588 new jobs while the vocational and scientific sector will have 7,973 jobs and the health and social work sector 13,272 jobs, the authority said.
The GaStat report is good news for Saudis as well as for expats.
The unemployment rate among Saudis rose to 12.7 percent in the first quarter of 2017, continuing its steady climb as the economy grapples with the fallout of low oil prices.
The latest statistics show that 906,552 Saudis are seeking jobs. Of the Saudi job seekers, around 219,000 are men and 687,500 are women.
The Kingdom’s Vision 2030 aims to cut the unemployment rate to seven percent by 2030, among a raft of other targets.
Authorities are also introducing new fees and sector restrictions to encourage the employment of Saudis while reducing the Kingdom’s reliance on its 11 million foreign workers.
The Saudi economy has added about 433,000 jobs a year on average over the past 10 years, but non-Saudis have taken up most of these new jobs, according to research by Jadwa Investment.
The total number of Saudi job seekers in the first quarter of 2017 was 1,075,933, of whom 216,352 were men and 859,581 women.
The highest percentage (34.2%) of Saudi job seekers was in the age group 25-29 years.
Half of Saudi job seekers are university graduates, said a report carried by the Saudi Press Agency.
This article was first published in the Saudi Gazette