News Money isn't everything

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or maybe the title should be "Too much of a good thing"?

Unemployment, the new Saudi challenge

"I think it's the number one challenge for Saudi Arabia," says Ihsan Ali bu Hulaiga, an economic consultant and a member of the majlis al-shura, the country's informal parliament.

It's a view you hear echoed by officials, Western diplomats and ordinary Saudis.

Many are shocked that such a wealthy country is unable to find employment for its own young men and women.

And, right now, the Saudi kingdom is even wealthier than usual.

"Oil prices have been very high for about three years," says Khan Zahid, chief economist at Riyad Bank.

At current prices of about $60 a barrel, the country is earning $480 million a day.

A large slice of that - some 35-40% of the government budget, says Dr Zahid - is being spent on education, manpower and health.

- yet

If money alone could solve the problem, then, unemployment would not exist.

In fact, however, it is growing at an alarming rate. The official figure is 9%, the unofficial estimate 20%.

. . .
The country earns $480 million/day, and it still has problems. :bugeye:

Now there is an opportunity for someone, assuming that the Saudi government would be receptive and open-minded.


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Employment doesn't come from cash, it comes from investment. How much of that 400 million a day is going into infrastructure, let alone employment opportunities.


Unemployment is not trivial - the Nobel Prize was just awarded for a better understanding of the minimum (nonzero) level of it.
Unemployment in Saudi Arabia is high because they have no skilled work force.

Most of the menial and physical labor is done by Asian people such as Indians, Pakistanis, Bangladeshi and Philippinos. The more technical work is done by Europeans and Americans, although the huge salaries and almost unlimited benefits of the 70’s and 80’s have been greatly reduced. Still, it can be quite lucrative to work for a few years in the kingdom. [Broken]
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