Women employees rose by 50,000, while the number of working men remained the same
Saudi workforce in the kingdom’s retail and wholesale sector has jumped 25% at the end of the first quarter of 2019, with around 440,000 local men and women employed in the industry, compared to about 330,000 last year, according to Arabic daily Al-Eqtisadiah, which quoted official figures.
Women employees in the sector rose by 50,000 to 166,135 from last year, while the number of working men remained the same at 273,709.
The industry’s total number of employees stood at 2,049,245, with as many as 1,609,401 being expatriates and 28,520 being women.
In 2018, the Ministry of Labour and the Human Resource Development Fund introduced three stages of Saudization relating specifically to the retail sector.
In April, figures from the General Authority for Statistics showed that unemployment in Saudi Arabia fell slightly in the fourth quarter of 2018 to 12.7 percent.
Total youth unemployment (20-24 years old) declined notably from 42.7 percent in 2017 to 36.6 percent in 2018, while female labour force participation continued to rise, reaching 20.2 percent by the end of 2018, up from 19.4 percent in 2017.
The statistics also showed that the total number of foreigners in the Saudi labour market declined by around 1.6 million since the start of 2017, with around one million leaving the market during 2018.
The largest declines were seen in construction, which saw 910,000 foreign and 41,000 Saudi departures.
The Ministry of Labor and Social Development said this week that it detected more than 23,000 employment violations during its 149,000 inspection tours across the kingdom’s private sector establishments during the first quarter of the year, including expats filling roles marked for Saudis.