In mid-2016, the Kingdom's Vision 2030 set out, among its strategic objectives, control over the growing unemployment rates in the Saudi society, through specific mechanisms and clear programs, aiming at reconsidering the outputs of education, taking into account the needs of the labor market, and most importantly, rehabilitating the Saudi young people and training them to take on many various professions.
Time after time, the Vision announces the results of its efforts in this matter. Perhaps the latest of these results, according to the labor force survey for the second quarter of this year (2019), is that the unemployment rate of citizens has declined by 12.3%, compared to 12.5% by the end of the first quarter of the same year.
Although the statistics do not indicate a qualitative leap in addressing unemployment, it gives us an important indicator which assures us that we are on the right track.
"Unemployment" is not a Saudi problem, but a global one that afflicts the largest countries. This problem is not only linked to the labor market, but also has a direct and indirect relationship with many sectors, especially the strength of the national economy, the ability of the private sector to absorb more Saudi youth, the outputs of the public and college education and training and rehabilitation centers and affiliated programs.
Additionally, the Kingdom is keen to complete the national economy reform processes, create new economic sectors that bring income to the State's treasury and provide jobs, and combat corruption of all kinds and sources. All these goals are adopted by the Vision and implemented on the ground.
The State's interest in addressing unemployment "today" under Vision 2030 is more than it was "yesterday".
There are many professions and sectors that are nationalized for the full, and there are measures and laws have been taken to strengthen the position of the Saudi citizen in the labor market compared to the foreign worker.
We no longer read the phrase "Saudis are preferred" in the vacancy announcements in the private sector, and was replaced by "for Saudis only". This confirms that we are facing a completely different scene, aimed at eliminating unemployment.
This scene is keen more than ever before to involve women in many professions that were reserved for men. Perhaps the high rate of the economic participation among Saudi women that reached up to 23.2%, compared to 20.5% in the first quarter of 2019, confirms that the Saudi women are coming strongly into the labor market to take part with their men partners in the State's development.