(MENAFN) Saudi deputy labor minister, Mofraj al-Haqbani, announced that the country managed to provide 600,000 private jobs for nationals through reforming the expatriate labor market, reported Arabian Business.
Al-Haqbani said that the Kingdom's attempts to force private firms to hire Saudi workers lowered the jobless rate among men to 6.1 percent in 2012, the lowest rate in more than 10 years.
The ministry's reforms revamp the existing system of quotas for Saudi and foreign employment in the private sector, imposing fines on firms that recruit more expatriates than nationals.
Moreover, the labor ministry announced in November a new policy of charging firms a fee of USD640 for each foreign worker they hire over the number of Saudi staff, with the fee to be paid when an expatriate's work permit comes up for renewal.
It is worth noting that nearly 9 in 10 nationals in work were hired by the government, while over 6 million foreign workers held almost the same proportion of jobs at private firms, according to central bank's data from 2011.