The government of Saudi Arabia has revealed a long-term plan to reduce the amount of expats in the country in the face unemployment and unrest amongst its native citizens.
According to reports coming out of the area, up to three million expat workers could be sacrificed over the next few years as the government makes a bid to open up more jobs for its own citizens.
The plans were revealed last Friday by the Saudi Arabian Labour Ministry, who have set a mark of 20 percent of the population as the total amount of expatriates in the country. Saudi Arabian newspaper Arab News quoted a ministry spokesman as saying “The maximum number of long-term expatriate workers in the Kingdom should not exceed 20 percent of the Saudi population.”
The current number of expatriates in Saudi Arabia stands at around 8 million, which is 31 percent of the Saudi population. This means that around 3 million expats will have to leave the kingdom if the new levels are to be met.
Growing unemployment seems to be the main reason behind this initiative, earlier in the year the Saudi unemployment rate was around 10.8 percent, and reports suggest that the Saudi authorities are developing up to 30 new initiatives geared towards creating more jobs for home-grown workers.