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MENAFN - 04/12/2013
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(MENAFN) Saudi Arabia needs to improve its private sector to satisfy demand for jobs by its young population and reduce its dependence on oil exports, a senior International Monetary Fund official warned, according to Arabian Business.

The IMF said that Gulf Arab states would need to create 600,000 private-sector jobs by 2018 just to maintain the percentage of nationals working for private companies. And that would still absorb only a third to a half of the people expected to enter the labor market.

The official unemployment rate slipped to 11.8 percent in the second quarter from a peak of 12.4 percent in 2011. But that does not count Saudis neither working nor actively seeking work.

The kingdom's private sector grew to about USD186.6 billion in 2011; Finance Minister Ibrahim Alassaf said that represented 58 percent of gross domestic product.



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