Saudi Gazette report
RIYADH — Minister of Human Resources and Social Development Ahmed Al-Rajhi reaffirmed Saudi Arabia’s keenness on achieving sustainable social welfare, which contributed to a significant increase in employment opportunities in various fields.
Al-Rajhi also drew attention to the success of the decisions and policies concerned with the Kingdom’s labor market saying that this was contributed to joining of more than half a million citizens in the labor market since 2019, bringing the number of employed citizens to more than 2.2 million in the private sector.
Al-Rajhi said this in his speech, while heading the Saudi delegation participating in the International Labor Conference in Geneva. Delegates from 187 countries are attending the conference.
He said that Saudi Arabia’s keenness on achieving sustainable social welfare has also been instrumental in bringing down unemployment rates to 4.8 percent by the end of last year,” he said while noting that this is a record that has never been achieved before.
The minister highlighted the Kingdom’s efforts to achieve social justice and equality among individuals, by providing support and financing programs for jobseekers. This is in addition to other programs for social financing, care and rehabilitation for those who are in need of permanent aid, to build a stable and balanced society.
He stated that the decisions of Saudization, and development of skills and provision of training have contributed to increasing employment rates and attracting the required national cadres in the qualitative, technical and technological professions. “Other policies and programs in the labor market had a tangible role in restructuring the Saudi labor market so as to ensure the empowerment of Saudi youth and women and increase the competitiveness of citizens compared to expatriates,” he said.
Al-Rajhi pointed out that the rate of economic participation of Saudi women aged 15 years and above reached 36 percent by the end of 2022, and the share of women workforce in the labor market increased from 21.2 percent in 2017 to 33.6 percent by the end of 2022. He stressed that the Kingdom is regarded among the developed countries in the sub-indicator ‘equal pay for similar work.’ The Kingdom also came close to closing the wage gap between the sexes, achieving a score of 0.758 percent, surpassing the global average in fairness of wages.
With regard to children, the minister reviewed the Kingdom’s efforts to protect them from various types of abuse, neglect, discrimination and exploitation, within the framework of the Kingdom’s policy against child labor. Al-Rajhi also highlighted the National Anti-Harassment Law approved by the Kingdom in 2018.
Al-Rajhi also focused on the Kingdom’s efforts in providing humanitarian, development and charitable assistance, by providing grants and soft loans to various countries of the world without discrimination on the basis of color, religion or race, as the Kingdom is one of the ten largest countries in the world in providing humanitarian aid.