Saudi Arabia: Almost 100,000 Unemployed Because ‘Unwilling’ To Work


A total of 94,390 people, most of them Saudis, aged 15 to 59, are jobless because of their unwillingness to work, according to an online newspaper quoting the Central Department of Statistics and Information.

Among them, 65.2 percent are Saudis and 72.7 percent women.

The CDSI report, which covers the work force, the number of workers and people without jobs in the first half of 2015, said these people are capable of working and not old, nor are they handicapped, sick, studying or receiving training in any school, university or other educational institution.

Mohammad Al-Khunaizi, member of the Human Resources Committee of the Shoura Council, said there were a number of reasons behind unwillingness to work.

He said those who are not working actually do not need work as they have sufficient financial resources from their families, either directly or from properties that give them enough income. The social culture in which they are brought up tells them that money is the only attraction for work and not a social responsibility for the development of the country.

Al-Khunaizi said these families provided lots of gifts and other things to their employable youths without giving them any responsibility, or without tying gifts to achievements. This is contrary to the Western system wherein families train their children to earn the claim on wealth by showing achievements in life.

Engineer Mansoor Al-Shathri, head of the job market committee of the chambers’ council, also said that most of those who do not want to work come from rich backgrounds. “Their families have sufficient financial resources.”

He said that foreigners unwilling to work create a security and economic threat. Some of them indulge in theft, dug pedaling and panhandling for money.

Regarding Saudi women’s unwillingness to work, Al-Khunaizi said there are several reasons for this including incomes from their guardians. The workplace environment does not suit many families.

Sometime, due to high cost of transportation, it is not financially feasible for women to work. Some women have no one to take care of their children due to lack of trust in housemaids and the non-availability of nurseries near their workplaces.

In addition, as per the rules of Ministry of Labor, dependents of expatriate workers are not allowed to work.

Arab News

Arab News is Saudi Arabia's first English-language newspaper. It was founded in 1975 by Hisham and Mohammed Ali Hafiz. Today, it is one of 29 publications produced by Saudi Research & Publishing Company (SRPC), a subsidiary of Saudi Research & Marketing Group (SRMG).

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