Labor and Employment in the Kingdom

“The state provides job opportunities for who-ever is capable of working; it enacts laws that protect the employee and employer.”

Basic Law of Saudi Arabia (Article 28)

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia works tirelessly to improve its efforts across every level of education and professional training, in order to meet developmental goals as well as the requirements of the local job market, and in so doing reduce unemployment levels. In addition to introducing innovative assistance programs for job-seekers and small- to medium-sized businesses, the Kingdom focuses its efforts on facilitating investment opportunities, thereby introducing new avenues for employability.

Employment in the Public Sector

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia invests heavily in its citizens to develop local, professional talent capable of leading it into a more prosperous future. To that end, government bodies in the public sector offer employment opportunities through electronic portals that ensure fairness among all applicants.

Initiatives in support of employment in the public sector:

The public sector of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has enacted a number of initiatives aimed at supporting, facilitating, and employ Saudi citizens, and in so doing, help fulfill job market needs as well as the strategic goals of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030. 
  • The Government Employment System "JADAARA": The Ministry of Human Resource and Social Development launched this system to enable job applicants to register their personal data, list their professional experience and attach the necessary documents in apply to jobs that suit their qualifications. 
  • TAMHIR Program: This program, launched by the Human Resources Development Fund, focuses on training human capital amongst Saudi graduates in order to provide them with the necessary expertise to enable them to confidently enter the labor market.
  • SAAID Program: This service, targets support job-seekers looking for lumped-wage jobs. It enables job applicants to apply for available civil service jobs, enter the perosnal information, health status, and employment information - thereby maintaining the Ministry of Human Resource and Social Development’s up-to-date database.

Employment in the private sector

The private sector in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is eager to provide gender-stimulating employment opportunities in various regions of the Kingdom, and raise the level of participation of citizens in the labor market by providing a range of compatible services between employers and employees. The Saudi labor system ensures a healthy relationship between employer and employee is maintained throughout the employment life-cycle. 

Government initiatives to support employment in the private sector:

  • NITAQAT: One of the initiatives of the Ministry of Human Resource and Social Development aimed at raising the Saudization rate in the private sector. It works by classifying the private sector according to fields of professional activity, then dividing it into several domains that match Saudization quotas.
  • TAWAFOQ: A program launched by the Human Resources Development Fund for the Employment of Persons with Disabilities and aims to support and empower them in the private sector.
  • Wages Protection Program: An initiative of the Ministry of Human Resource and Social Development, which aims at monitoring the process of wage payment to employees of the private sector (both Saudi citizens and expatriates), to identify whether employers pay out wages in a timely manner, and in the exact amount agreed upon.

Support for job-seekers

  1. “HAFEZ program" was launched to help job seekers by providing them with financial support during their job-search journey, in addition to providing them with the necessary skills and resources to join the labor market. Job-seekers can also search for work by linking their registered profile in the system with employment centers and opportunities available to them.
  2. National Labor Gateway "TAQAT": One of the initiatives of the Human Resources Development Fund and supported by the Ministry of Human Resource and Social Development; TAQAT provides a comprehensive electronic platform for the labor market in the Kingdom, for both its public and private sectors, creating a bridge between job seekers and employers to provide and exchange information and applications, providing a platform for providing fair employment opportunities for all. 
  3. Support for freelance jobs: The Ministry of Human Resource and Social Development launched the Freelance Work Permit, aimed at bolstering freelance job opportunities. Job seekers register their information, pay registration fees for social security for two years.
    • A specialized entity: 

Monshaat: General Authority for Small and Medium Enterprises (Monshaat) The Authority was established in the year 2014. Its objectives are to organize, support, develop and sponsor the SME sector in the Kingdom, as well as diversifying its sources of funding. 

  • Incubators and Accelerators: 
    • Tis’at A’shar: an initiative to bolster SMEs that, in turn, help boost the Kingdom’s economy at large.
    • Launch of incubators and business accelerators (BIAC) operate, maintain and manage incubators, business accelerators, entrepreneurship support platforms, project management services, specialized consultancy and training services.
    • Launch of "BADER" incubator, one of the programs of the King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology (KACST), which was launched to support technology-based business ventures and to develop entrepreneurship in the technical field.
  • E-commerce: Being both the current and future focus of commerce worldwide, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has invested significantly in e-commerce, and has developed a regulatory list that delineates this process within the Kingdom.
  • Productive families: The development of the microfinance sector is strategic. To preserve the rights of both employees and employers, The Ministry of Commerce launched the Maarouf service which aims at helping electronic stores and vendors succeed through increasing the trustworthiness of said vendors. Productive Families Law

4. Training and skill-building:

  • Saifi program: a program aimed at students aged 17 and above; designed to equip them with the skills necessary for the workforce, allowing them to better utilize their free time.
  • Tamhir program: a program established by the Human Resources Development Fund; aims to build essential skills for Saudi graduates from universities within the Kingdom and abroad, allowing them to be better equipped for the marketplace. 
  • Subol: a program that helps better guide Saudi citizens in terms of choosing a career path, through a comprehensive process of education and career guidance for students, educators, partners, and researchers, as well as employees and employers.
  • Duroob: the national portal for electronic training.
  • Professional Certificates Support Program

Attention to pensioners

The Public Pension Agency was established as a separate entity focused on providing all the services and information needed by the pensioner electronically, in addition to enabling the registrar to communicate directly, to enhance the safety of participants and pensioner.

Women's Empowerment

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia seeks to raise the participation of Saudi women as an active partner in the continuous, sustainable development of the country, as well as their ability to assume leadership positions, participation in the Shura Council and enable them to nominate themselves to many top positions. These include:
  • Wosool: a program to support the transfer of working women.
  • Qurra: a program to support the hospitality of children for working women.
The following are links to major  decisions and regulations on this aspect:


Indicator Percentage from 2016-2017 What we seek in 2030
Unemployment rate among Saudis 11.6% 7%
Percentage of women in the labour force 22% 30%
Increase in contribution of small and medium enterprises to GDP 20% 35%
Percentage of financing of small and medium enterprises 5% 20%

Related links:

Last Modified Date: 04/03/2020 - 1:44 PM Saudi Arabia Time
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