The number of unemployed Saudis could total 500,000, the kingdom’s Labour Minister Adel Fakieh has been quoted as saying.
&The number represents about 10 percent of the expatriate work force, he said, according to an Arab News report.
It is unclear whether the figure included unemployed Saudi women, the report said. According to a recent study, 78.3 percent of jobless women hold university degrees and at least 1,000 of them doctorate degrees.
“During the past 15 years, only a few jobs were Saudized,” Fakieh told some 170 businessmen from different parts of the country at the Riyadh Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
He said the Saudization program had failed to replace 10 percent of the foreign manpower with unemployed Saudis.
Prominent Saudi businessman Saleh Kamel, who is chairman of the Council of Saudi Chambers of Commerce and Industry (CSCCI), proposed the appointment of an international consultancy firm to find solutions for the kingdom’s labour problems.