About 1.5 million Saudi Arabian nationals were employed in the private sector last year, a rise of more than 332,000 compared to the previous year, said a report.
The kingdom’s Ministry of Labor pointed out that the increase was due to the growing need of manpower for economic and social development projects, especially in the construction sector, said the Arab News report.
It includes the Grand Mosque expansion and other mega projects in the transport sector and educational establishments, it said.
The number of Saudi Arabian men employed by the end of 2013 rose 16 per cent, while the increase in the number of women employed saw a staggering 85 per cent compared to 2012.
Meanwhile, the nationalisation rates increased from 13 per cent in 2012 to 15 per cent in 2013, said the report, quoting ministry sources.
The non-Saudi Arabian employees, however, increased 12 per cent in the private sector by the end of last year, with the expatriate population increasing from 7.3 million to 8.2 million in 2013.
“The nationalisation programme was launched to encourage private sector companies to employ citizens and reduce unemployment rates by integrating Saudisation clauses in operation and maintenance contracts and developing mechanisms for enhancing this scheme,” said the sources.
The Saudisation rates in the private sector also rose more than five per cent in 2013 compared with 2009, marking a more than 11 per cent decrease in unemployment rates. Of this, female employment accounted for 58 per cent that same year, said the report.