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Sat 29 Jan 2011 04:47 PM

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Saudi needs 5 million more jobs by 2030 - labour minister

Unless rapid action is taken, kingdom would face mass unemployment, says Adel Fakieh

Saudi needs 5 million more jobs by 2030 - labour minister
SAUDI UNEMPLOYMENT: Minister said that authorities were looking at a wide range of options in an effort to create more jobs in the kingdom, including the possibility of a minimum wage for the country’s workers

Saudi Arabia’s labour minister says the kingdom must create five million jobs by 2030 if it is to meet the needs of young Saudi men who will mature in to the job market by then.

In his opening speech to the 5th Global Competitiveness Forum (GCF) in Riyadh earlier this week, Labour Minister Adel Fakieh said that unless rapid action was taken, the country would face mass unemployment and salaries would decrease as the competition for jobs heated up.

Fakieh said that authorities were looking at a wide range of options in an effort to create more jobs in the kingdom, including the possibility of a minimum wage for the country’s workers. Of the 5 million new jobs required, 3 million would have to come from the private sector, Falieh said.

He also said that a majority of the jobs had to be targeted at higher wage earners and that the gap between nationals and expatriates had to be reduced and a level field introduced. Without it, the incentive to employ foreign labour would remain, he said.

To achieve this, Fakieh said the country would have to improve its education, management systems and practices would have to change, regulations and policies would have to be reformed and many rules that affected both the private and public sector would have to be reviewed.

Fakieh also said that the government was looking at measures to provide jobs for women in the kingdom, but did not elaborate on numbers.

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