With low oil prices, public expenditure pressures, deepening foreign expenditure commitments, and structural risks, King Salman’s government moved this week to address a critical challenge exacerbated by this unfavorable regional economic climate: youth unemployment.
Prior to the recent economic slowdown, the unemployment rate in the Kingdom for youth between the ages of 15 and 25 was 29.43% in 2013 and almost 1.9 million Saudis under the age of 14 will enter the job market by 2025. With over two-thirds of the Saudi population under 30, youth unemployment cannot be ignored.
A new initiative
This initiative underwrites the Kingdom’s future by ensuring that Saudi youth are given better training, new jobs, and more opportunities.Andrew Bowen
Falling in line with CEDA’s goals to reduce bureaucratic red tape and deepen inter-agency cooperation to more effectively support the sustained prosperity of the Kingdom, the Cabinet is optimistic that this initiative will address this important challenge at a time of increasing economic pressures. Importantly, as well, this new Commission is under the supervision and support of Deputy Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman.
As the architect of this new initiative, Prince Mohammad has shown both vision and leadership in pro-actively addressing the challenges the labor market faces in creating new jobs at a time when Saudi Arabia’s public expenditures are being tightened due to declining government revenues linked to lower oil prices. Organizationally, as well, the Deputy Crown Prince has brought focus to this challenge by empowering one agency to take the governmental lead to both formulate policies and at the same time, to coordinate with the other governmental agencies -- which partially address this issue separately -- to effectively implement these initiatives.