Saudi Arabia’s Youth: Idle and Underskilled
How does Saudi Arabia’s reliance on foreign labor affect its youth?
1. Saudi Arabia is heavily reliant on foreign labor. That is having significant economic and societal effects on the country’s future.
2. Perhaps most importantly, Saudi Arabia’s reliance on cheap foreign labor has crippled the development of its private sector.
3. With a native population of 20 million, Saudi Arabia hosts eight million legal foreign workers and 2-3 million illegal ones.
4. That means foreign workers do many jobs, leaving young Saudis idle, underskilled and unemployed.
5. More than two-thirds of all Saudi citizens are under the age of 30.
6. The Middle East already has the world’s second-highest level of youth unemployment, after sub-Saharan Africa.
From As Saudis Crack Down, Foreign Workers Lay Low by Ellen Knickmeyer (Wall Street Journal)