Around 1.2 million expatriates expected to leave Saudi job market in 2020: Jadwa

COVID-19: Around 1.2 million expatriates expected to leave Saudi job market in 2020

Around 1.2 million expat workers will leave the Saudi job market this year, according to projections by Jadwa Investment Company.

Hospitality, food services, administration and support, which include rent and lease activities, travel agencies, security and building services activities, will be among the most affected sectors that are likely to witness the exit of the highest percentage of expatriates, the Saudi Gazette reported on Tuesday.

The unemployment rate among Saudis, however, will remain unchanged by the end of 2020 at 12 percent.

According to Jadwa’s estimates, in the near future, certain sectors will not be fully resurgent in their business activities , particularly those most affected by the coronavirus, such as travel, hotels , restaurants, tourism and entertainment sector.

The Jadwa report says the overall business environment is expected to improve in the second half of 2020, especially in the fourth quarter of the year, and this improvement will bring better prospects for the employment of citizens despite the looming uncertainty associated with the coronavirus pandemic. In particular, with the departure of a large number of foreigners during the year 2020, there is a greater opportunity for Saudis to replace foreigners in sectors that had already created a large number of jobs for Saudis.

Jadwa further predicts that, with the expected start of economic recovery by the end of the year, demand for certain goods and services will increase significantly. Such an increase, in addition to precautionary measures linked to the pandemic, will limit the arrival of expats on new visas, and this will subsequently provide more opportunities for citizens.