The Nitaqat program has increased rate of Saudi employees in the private sector from 10 percent to more than 13 percent
RIYADH: SHARIF M. TAHA Published — Tuesday 20 August 2013 Last Update 20 August 2013 3:33 am
The Saudi economy created two million jobs in a four-year period (2009-2012) of which 1.5 million jobs went to non-Saudis, local media said Monday quoting a report from a specialized financial firm.
The report, released by the Kuwait-based Al-Shall Economic Consultants, said the real growth of the gross domestic product (GDP) of the Kingdom stood at nearly 8.6 percent in 2011 compared to 5.1 percent in 2012.
However, the real GDP growth is projected to drop to 4 percent in 2013 and 4.4 percent in 2014, or half the level of the 2011 figures, the report said.
Despite the growth rate of real nonoil GDP at the annual rate of 7.75 percent in the period 2008-2012, the Saudi oil and nonoil economy failed to absorb the growing demand of Saudi jobseekers into the labor market where jobless rate increased from 10.5 percent in 2009 to 12 percent by the end of 2012, the report said.
Elaborating on issues related to unemployment, the report said the number of male Saudi students who were enrolled in the universities increased three-fold in the period 1996-2011 whereas the number of female students increased by 54 percent.
The rate of unemployment among Saudi women currently stands at 35 percent as labor market growth for Saudis stands at 3.5 percent per annum. However, according to a projected scenario, the rate of unemployment will aggravate by adding new 1.4 million unemployed Saudis in the next 10 years, the report added.
Based on the latest data released by the Central Department of Statistics and Information (CDSI), the jobless Saudis reached 629,044, representing 12 percent of the total work force in the Kingdom, of whom 265,425 are male persons. The number of employed Saudis is 5,260,161 of whom 4,216,680 are male employees, or 80.2 percent of the total Saudi work force.
The number of non-working Saudis reached 4,631,117, representing 88 percent of the labor force of which 3,951,255 are male individuals, representing 85.3 percent.
Since the launch of Nitaqat program, or the job nationalization scheme in June 2011, the rate of Saudi employees in the private sector has increased from 10 percent to more than 13 percent, according to the latest data released by the Ministry of Labor.
By the end of 2012, roughly 615,000 male and female citizens were employed in the private sector firms of whom 180,000 were female employees, the ministry data showed.