Homegrown store, Jeddah
Saudi Arabia has been working on encouraging its nationals to take up jobs within the retail sector, with the ultimate aim to “Saudize” 70 percent of sales outlets with regards to select activities and occupations. Today, the numbers are in and the Kingdom’s efforts seem to have made an impact, with the number of nationals working in the retail sector now up to 260,000, with 48 percent of them being women, according to data issued by the General Authority for Statistics.
In addition, around 44,000 Saudi Arabians joined the sales sector between the end of the first quarter of 2017 and the end of the third quarter of 2018, representing an approximately 20 percent increase, according to a recent article by Arab News. The piece also stated that the total number of sales people in the Kingdom now stands at 537,281, of which 48.4 percent are Saudis. A recent labor market bulletin also placed the number of Saudi women in sales by the end of 2018’s third quarter at 125,505.
Saudization, officially known as the Saudi Nationalization Scheme, is a policy through which the government of Saudi Arabia is pushing to increase employment of Saudi nationals in the Kingdom’s private sector, using the Nitaqat system to rate companies based on the numbers of locals they employ. As part of the objectives underlined in Vision 2030, Saudi Arabia is working to reduce the number of unemployed nationals.