Jun 13 2011
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Saudis slap quotas to boost local jobs
13 June 2011
JEDDAH, Saudi Arabia: Saudi Arabia has imposed new quotas on companies in the kingdom to employ local staff, with cuts in permits for foreign workers if they fail to comply.
The Labor Ministry Saturday launched the latest stage of its “Nitaqat” (Ranges) program aimed at prodding local firms to employ Saudis as the oil-rich kingdom battles unemployment among its largely young population.From Sept. 10, the new program will determine whether companies – according to their sector of activity and size – are entitled to employ foreign workers depending on their performance in abiding by the quotas.
Banks with a workforce of up to 500, for example, would need a Saudi workforce of at least 49 percent.
Officials put the unemployment rate at 10 percent. But the figure jumps to around 30 percent among women, who are excluded from jobs in many sectors under the strict rules of segregation in the ultra-conservative Muslim kingdom.
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