Who is responsible for the high unemployment rate?

July 15, 2018
Who is responsible for  the high unemployment rate?

Hamoud Abu Taleb

Okaz newspaper

THE figures recently published by the General Authority of Statistics (GaStat) showed that the rate of unemployment in the Kingdom during the first three months of 2018 was 12.9 percent.

This high figure has made the minister of labor and social development to end his silence to announce a package of training and rehabilitation programs for 60,000 Saudi men and women to qualify them for jobs in the private sector.

It is not fair to make the minister, who has just taken over, responsible for the high rate of joblessness in the country.

It is true that the minister has taken so long to break his silence but this does not make him responsible for unemployment among Saudis.

The minister should take his time to know all the issues and matters concerning his ministry. His previous experience will not alone help him know everything in the ministry. He has to be in his position for sometime to know all the nitty-gritty of the ministry.

The high rate of the joblessness that appeared in the first quarter of the current year is the result of accumulation of past mistakes that the new minister is no way responsible for.

Neither the new minister nor his ministry or any other ministry or government department should be held responsible for the high rate of unemployment.

The reason why we are not able to contain the problem of unemployment is that we made certain parties — the Ministry of Labor and the private sector alone — responsible for it.

We never go out of this duality when we discuss the issue of unemployment while in fact there is large-scale planning and executive organs that should also be held accountable.

We should deal with the issue of unemployment through a comprehensive strategic plan that takes into consideration all the aspects of the problem in detail.

The problem should be tackled from its very roots so as to reach the real causes of unemployment and how to resolve it.

By making a single party, the Ministry of Labor, responsible for rising employment in the Kingdom, will only result in a snowball that keeps rolling and rolling until it becomes bigger and bigger. When the ball becomes huge in size, it will be difficult to contain.

It is not impossible to solve the problem of unemployment but this will need courage to recognize of the previous mistakes.

If we continue to deal with the problem on the same modalities we used in the past, then the unemployment rate will keep growing and it will be difficult to contain.

July 15, 2018
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