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Mon 3 May 2004 04:00 AM

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KSA moves to cut unemployment

Companies with fewer than ten employees are to be banned from hiring foreigners, a move aimed at reducing unemployment amongst nationals.

Saudi Arabia has banned companies employing fewer than ten people from recruiting foreigners, according to newspaper reports.

The move is another attempt to create more jobs for Saudi nationals. According to a recent report by SAMBA, the unemployment rate amongst Saudi men is now 13%.

“Labour offices have been instructed to prevent small companies with fewer than 10 workers from recruitment of [foreign employees],” Ghazi Al-Gosaibi, Minister of Labour, told the Saudi Press Agency.

“The ban on recruitment was imposed to create more job opportunities for skilled Saudi labourers who cannot find jobs because of competition from expatriates.”

Legislation forcing companies to hire Saudi nationals has proven to be very unpopular with employers. They say a lack of vocational skills and high salary expectations are the main reasons they do not hire more Saudis.

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