This week, Bloomberg published an article on the number of expats who left Saudi Arabia in the past three years. The article focuses on the claim that these jobs have not yet been filled. Over the years, many Saudis have expressed their relief – especially on Twitter – over foreigners leaving the country. They believe that expats and foreigners misused the benefits of living in Saudi Arabia. In some cases this may have been correct, but many expats and foreigners were doing jobs for which Saudis were not qualified, or which they did not want to do.
In a related context, the Saudi government has released new unemployment figures this week. This is an unusual step as it is rare to find exact statistics on Saudi unemployment available. A lot of Saudis are hit by unemployment due to many factors, it’s about qualifications now, not connections as it used to be in the past. Also, competition is higher than before as more talented qualified Saudis are coming back after studying abroad on government scholarships.
A Saudi Tweeter, commented on the statistics published stating that unemployment dropped from 12.8% to 12.7%, stating sarcastically that this is probably due to one person dying.
Saudi Middle East Broadcast Channel (MBC) asked the head of statistics at the Saudi Office for Statistics on the 0.1% figure. The official clarified that 0.1% doesn’t mean one person but an average. This has led to a heated discussion on a sensitive issue.
The discussion took a sarcastic angel in dealing with the reality of many Saudis who are looking for jobs and worry about their future.
There are many vacant job positions that are not occupied by Saudis who can’t find jobs. The question is why?