The Economic Impact of Policies to Boost the Employment of Saudi Nationals

A new IMF country report says that “Saudi Arabia’s labor market is characterized by a persistently high unemployment rate, low private employment ratio, and a low labor participation rate for nationals. The authorities are undertaking a wide range of labor market interventions to address these issues. The analysis in this paper shows that these interventions are helping to reduce distortions in the labor market, including by boosting female labor force participation and reducing the wage gap between expatriates and nationals in the private sector, but the impact on the rest of the economy is not always positive as firms adjust to the higher cost of labor. Reforms should therefore be gradual to minimize their impact on growth. A comprehensive set of policies is also needed to foster job creation for nationals. Measures should include policies toward levelling the playing field between national and expatriate workers so that employers have less of a preference for employing expatriates, setting clear expectations about the limited prospects for public sector employment, boosting female labor force participation, and strengthening education and training to support increased productivity of nationals.”

Posted by at 9:51 AM

Labels: Inclusive Growth


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