Riyadh, August 1: Saudi Arabia with an aim to provide jobs to the countrymen effectively banned thousands of foreigners to work in several sectors including tourism and health. Though, Saudi Arabia's unemployment rate has raised to 12.7 percent in the first quarter of 2017 due to continuous fall in prices of oil.
According to the Saudi Press Agency, the latest statistics show that the total number of Saudis seeking jobs is 906,552, of which around 219,000 are men and 687,500 are women. The plan aims to cut the unemployment rate to seven percent by 2030, among a raft of other targets.
Meanwhile, Monica Malik who is a chief economist at Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank said, "The data shows the economy is not creating enough jobs for the new entrants into the labour market. Job creation is going to be the main challenge for the reform programme."
"The private sector is suffering from fiscal reforms and government spending is down. Despite the pressure on expatriates, we're not seeing enough job growth among nationals to make up for their departure from the market," she added.
However, the rising number of unemployed highlights the immense challenge Riyadh faces in meeting pledges to create jobs for its nationals by cutting down jobs for foreigners. Interestingly, the Saudi economy has added about 433,000 jobs a year on average over the last 10 years but still lacks behind.