3 reasons why the former Saudi Labor minister was relieved

Mufrej al-Haqbani faced a slew of challenges in his time at the helm of the Labor Ministry. (SPA)

Saudi King Salman issued orders exempting Dr. Moufarrej bin Saad Hagbani from the duties of Minister of Labor and Social Development, and appointed of Dr. Ali bin Nasser al-Afis in his place on Saturday.

Mufrej al-Haqbani faced a slew of challenges in his time at the helm of the Saudi Labor Ministry, as a sharp drop in crude prices slashed government revenues and took a toll on economic growth.

Job creation dried up this year amid severe cuts to public spending, despite reforms geared toward creating jobs for Saudis – the unemployment rate for nationals rose.

The unemployment rate rose to 12.1 percent in the third quarter, up from 11.6 percent the previous quarter.

The kingdom’s economic reform plan, led by Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, has set targets to cut the jobless rate to 7 percent by 2030 and raise women’s participation in the labor force to 30 percent from 22 percent, according to Reuters.

Statistics revealed that the first quarter of 2015 had recorded 71 thousand jobs in the private sector because of the Nitaqat program, while decreased in the second quarter of the same year to 35 thousand jobs, marking 14 thousand jobs in the third quarter, brought back relatively in the fourth quarter of the year in 2015, recording 26 thousand jobs.

The large decline in employment rates has emerged remarkably during this year, in the first quarter fell to minus -5 thousand, and in the second quarter minus -10 thousand, while the third quarter minus -27 thousand record.

Most of the jobs went to non-Saudis during Haqbani’s time in the Ministry of Labor.

*The article can be viewed in Arabic on AlArabiya.net

Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:48 - GMT 06:48