Over 900,000 Saudis are seeking jobs, 219,000 men, and 687,500 women. Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman met with Western tech giants, including the leaders of Facebook and Microsoft, last year in an effort to open up more tech opportunities to young Saudis. In May, the crown prince also announced a new Saudi defense company would create some 40,000 jobs.
Now, with a better-educated population and a changing economic reality, the kingdom aims to fill jobs currently taken by expats with Saudi nationals. In recent months, Riyadh has taken major steps toward this goal.The kingdom has also launched short technical courses, with the aim of training Saudis with the necessary skills to take jobs currently filled by expats.
The Saudi economy has been feeling the strain of low oil prices over the past couple of years. A 2016 report suggested that the kingdom will fall into an economic recession in 2017, for the first time since 1999.
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