Could Youth Unemployment Be The Saudi Achilles Heel?
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  • Andrew Allison

    I’m surprised that you didn’t connect the dots between Saudi Arabia’s unemployment problem and your spot-on ideas about what’s needed in education. It would be hard to pass over a graduate of a trade school for a foreigner.

  • Brett

    About 90 percent of the private-sector workforce is foreign, and these interlopers are able to afford the fancy cars, clothes and electronics that are on display so prominently in the country.

    What? Most of the foreign workers in Saudi Arabia are poor people from Bangladesh, India, etc that they import to do all the jobs that the local Saudis won’t do. Foreigners with good-paying jobs in Saudi Arabia are a minority.

  • As long as their “education system” consists of madrassas teaching the koran and pretending that this dark ages ‘education’ will prepare one for a productive life today, expect this to continue. Actually, things only are getting worse in this area. Count on the coming Islamist theocracy in Egypt to regress their “education” systems a millennia. Now it’s, what, 75% of Egyptians illiterate and no one willing to hire their college grads? Plan on increases in illiteracy across muslim countries as the Arab “Spring” takes hold.

    Islam is the problem. Over a billion people demanding civilizational regression is a problem that is not going to go away by being ignored – or supported- by western ignorance.

  • Jim.

    Anyone who can come up with a workable modern update to the old Appreticeship system deserves a Nobel Prize in economics.

  • Jacksonian Libertarian

    A 27% youth unemployment rate is about the minimum for western countries at the moment and your not talking about revolution for them. So why is it so critical for Saudi Arabia which has plenty of money to keep them happy? A 26.5 million population 66% of which is under 30 or 17.5 million 27% of which are unemployed or 4.7 million only half of which are of likely working age 2.35 million, a $130 billion plan, spread across 2.35 million equals a little more than $55k each so they can pay the unemployed the $530/month for 8.5 years on their little $130 billion plan.
    There will be no revolt as long as the money holds out, and the oil will continue to flow. If however the price of oil were to drop significantly, then you might see a revolt as the Saudi’s fight over the declining pool of petro dollars.

  • “They are actively searching for a way to increase the number of jobs available to locals, while simultaneously providing a generous social safety net for those who can’t find work.”

    This is a guaranteed losing game. People with nothing productive to do, and money on hand to cover their needs, have kids. Who then grow up into people who have nothing to do, and expect the government to fund them the way their parents were funded.

    See, for example, population growth rate differences between Palestinian refugees, and those who stayed in Israel and had to work for a living.

  • The last time the Saudi Royal Family encountered a domestic threat to their governance – the 1979 storming of the Grand Mosque – it resulted in them ratcheting up their funding of global jihad to direct domestic rage elsewhere. The Afghan mujahideen, al Qaeda and Wahhabi mosques around the globe were the result.

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