Why do Saudis prefer Government Jobs over Private Sector Jobs?

It is generally believed that only one out of three Saudi people find a job in the private sector in their country, while around 3 out of every 4 people in Canada, Japan and Sweden can find a job in the private sector in their country.

These statistics are in accordance with the reports by the World Bank, which have attributed the low percentage or number of Saudi people in the private sector to the low wages offered. Saudis working in the private sector often, receive a lower salary than those working in other Gulf countries or in Europe.[irp]

Perhaps the World Bank does not necessarily understand that the Saudi people are extremely different to the Swedish, Japanese and the Canadians. This is due to the special culture present in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia which is greatly responsible for denying the Saudi youth job opportunities within the private sector.

Saudi people have very little confidence in private sector jobs in terms of the job security. Hence the youth of Saudi Arabia look towards finding employment in the government sector. I and many like myself have no idea where this special culture has come into being since the earliest Saudi generations worked as merchants or for merchants for daily wages until they had been recruited by Saudi Aramco and other various foreign companies.

The plans and efforts to employ the Saudi people and nationalize the jobs are still being obstructed by certain specific social conditions. It is, therefore, an impending mistake by the Labor Ministry not to tackle and remove these obstacles till there is time.

The departments of the Ministry of Labor have to get in touch with the people and help change the mindset by promoting a clear message that the private sector jobs offer job security just like the government sector.

This initiative can be done by showing the Saudi people prominent Saudis employed within the private sector. There are also examples of corporations and companies supporting their staff during times of injury and who have set pensions and other packages for the family of their deceased employees. These examples can help alter the perception of the private sector in the minds of the Saudi Youth.

Some of the statistics derived from the situation in Saudi Arabia it is estimated that around 200,000 new job opportunities are let go off or wasted every year and these jobs are then taken up by Non-Saudi Expats while the Saudi people only manage to fill about 20,000 of these available seats.

What is saddening being the fact that the Saudi employees also save on the company expenses which may include annual flight tickets back home or the costs which are associated with the paperwork and application of work visas, residence permits and all other things an expat needs to work in the Kingdom.

Saudis should realize that their job security is still better in the private sector in comparison to the expats, as they never have to leave the Kingdom. However, we have also witnessed an unfair treatment with native people and it is an issue which needs to be reviewed and tackled as soon as possible.