Cairo: The number of Saudi workers hit an all-time high 2.2 million last year while women accounted for 37 per cent of the kingdom’s overall labour market, a government minister has said.
Minister of Human Resources and Social Development Ahmed Al Rajhi added at a labour forum in the capital Riyadh that over 550,000 Saudis were employed last year, Okaz newspaper reported.
According to him, around 98 per cent of establishments operating in the kingdom abided by labour rules and decrees while out-of-court settlements to labour disputes rose by 74 per cent last year.
Saudi Arabia, a country of around 34.8 million people, is home to a large community of migrant workers.
In recent years, the kingdom has launched a series of initiatives to employ its nationals and replace foreign workers in several fields including education, telecommunications and real estate as part of a labour policy known as “Saudisation”.
In June, ministerial decrees were announced restricting jobs in certain sectors to Saudis only. They covered, optics professions, customer services, licensed aviation professions including co-pilots and air controllers, sales outlets and periodic checks of cars.
Last month, a decree localising employment for postal services and parcel transport across the country went into effect.
In the first phase of implementation, the decree provides for full localisation of 14 postal services while exempting jobs of cleaning, loading and offloading labour.
The decree aims to localise postal services including those of e-delivery, local and international transport of parcels, express mail and provision of postal room management, postal logistics and private postal services.
The Ministry of Human resources said the move was part of its efforts designed to provide “motivating and productive” working environment to Saudi citizens, boost their engagement in labour market, and enhance their contribution to the country’s economic development.