RIYADH A total of 1.05 million male and female foreign workers left the Saudi employment market during a period of 45 months starting from the beginning of 2018 until the end of the third quarter of 2021. This figure represents 10.12 percent of the total foreign workers, according to the monitoring of Okaz/Saudi Gazette based on government reports.

The mass exit of foreigners was attributed mainly to the imposition of expat fee that started during the year 2018. The monthly amount of expat fee was SR400 per employee during the year 2018 and it rose 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. But this figure started decreasing with the passing of every 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 percent with an increase of about 179,000 male and female citizens, bringing the total number of Saudi workers to 3.34 million, while compared to 3.16 million at the end of 2017.

The number of Saudi men and women who are subject to the rules and regulations of social insurance after joining the General Organization for Social Insurance (GOSI) jumped by 7.73 percent during the same period, with more than 153,000 male and female Saudi employees getting access into the insurance database, bringing the total number of workers subject to this system to about 2.14 million.

The number of Saudi men and women who are subject to the Civil Service Law increased to about 26,000 people, a slight increase of two percent, bringing their total number to 1.21 million.

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