Saudi Gazette – Saudi students working in part-time jobs will be considered as Saudi employees in the Nitaqat program on condition that they work only after their school hours, Labor Minister Mofrej Al-Haqbani has said.

The minister was recently talking to Sheikh Saleh Kamel, chairman of the Jeddah Chamber of Commerce and Industry (JCCI), members of the board of directors and a number of businessmen and businesswomen.

He said about 3.4 million Saudi men and women are government employees constituting about 65 percent of the workforce. Some 1.7 million Saudis are working in the private sector making about 17 percent of the total number of employees.

Al-Haqbani said that there are 9.1 million expatriate workers in the Kingdom of whom about half a million are employed by the government and 8.6 million by the private sector.

“The rate of unemployment in the Kingdom is 5.7 percent among Saudi and expatriate men and women. Unemployment among Saudi men is 11.7 percent while it is 32.8 percent among Saudi women,” he said.

The minister reiterated that companions of expat workers are allowed to work in the education sector.

“The authorities have given approval to this idea. It is much better to allow qualified companions of expatriate workers to work in the education sector instead of hiring people from abroad. This will reduce recruitment cost,” he said.

Haqbani warned recruitment offices against signing contracts with employers unless they are sure that sufficient numbers of workers they need to recruit are readily available in the exporting country.

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