Dubai: More than 1.05 million male and female foreign workers have left the Saudi labour market due to the implementation of expat fee that started in 2018, local media reported.
According to a government report, this figure represents 10.12 per cent of the total foreign workforce and they exited the market during a period of 45 months starting from the beginning of 2018 until the end of the third quarter of 2021.
The big exit of foreigners was attributed mainly to the implementation of expat fee that started in 2018. The monthly amount of expat fee was SR400 per employee during 2018 and was risen to SR600 in 2019 and SR800 since 2020.
The number of non-Saudi workers stood at around 10.42 million at the end of 2017 before the imposition of expat fee. However, this figure started decreasing year on year reaching about 9.36 million by the end of the third quarter of 2021.
During the same period, the number of Saudi male and female workers jumped by 5.66 per cent with an increase of about 179,000 male and female citizens, bringing the total number of Saudi workers to 3.34 million, compared to 3.16 million at the end of 2017.
The number of Saudi men and women subject to the rules and regulations of social insurance after joining the General Organisation for Social Insurance (GOSI) jumped by 7.73 per cent during the same period, with more than 153,000 male and female Saudi employees getting access to the insurance database, bringing the total number of workers subject to this system to about 2.14 million.