The Economist: Saudi Arabia Pushing Out Foreigners to Create Jobs for Locals

Saudi Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman’s is implementing an economic restructuring plan to create more jobs for locals. “Finding jobs for young Saudis – around half of whom are unemployed – is critical for Prince Muhammad, who is the power behind the throne,” notes the Economist. Heretofore, the Saudi state has relied on cheap, foreign labor with about half of young Saudis unemployed. Saudi efforts include placing levies on migrants based on family size and the Saudis who employ them. Muhammad Bin Salman has also prohibited foreigners “from 12 sectors of the economy, including banking and optometry.” Estimates suggest the plan could reduce Saudi Arabia’s jobless rate from 13 percent today to 10 percent by 2022 while reducing dependence on approximately 8 million predominantly unskilled foreign laborers. Foreign workers may be disenchanted, with some analysts expecting 700,000 to look elsewhere for work by 2020. If education does not keep up in producing talented workers, some firms could close. The policies could also spur more female employment. –YaleGlobal

The Economist: Saudi Arabia Pushing Out Foreigners to Create Jobs for Locals

Saudi Arabia’s economic restructuring initiative seeks to decrease dependence on foreign labor and prohibit foreigners from 12 sectors
Monday, May 7, 2018

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Copyright The Economist Newspaper Limited 2018

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