The history of unemployment in Saudi Arabia has been a decades-long struggle, and is considered among the biggest challenges facing the Saudi Arabian government. The youth and women, unfortunately, have been the most affected groups of the high unemployment rate in Saudi Arabia. In an effort to decrease the number of unemployed, the government of Saudi Arabia introduced the Saudization program in an attempt to create jobs for Saudi job seekers. The Saudization policy was created by the government and implemented through the Ministry of Labor. The main objective of this program was to maximize efforts in decreasing labor opportunities for foreign workers, while increasing the number of opportunities for Saudis in the private sector. However, the Saudization policy was not as successful as had been anticipated. Therefore, new efforts to alter the policy were rolled out under the Nitaqat scheme in the year 2011. Despite the government’s efforts to improve the employment situation in Saudi Arabia, research indicates that progress to reduce unemployment levels during the past 5 years since Nitaqat was implemented by the Ministry of Labor have been minimal. The main purpose of this research paper was to investigate and draw practical solutions to the unemployment challenges facing Saudi Arabia. This study was based on quantitative method using 2 online surveys: (a) Ministry of Labor employees, and (b) Saudi business owners. The most important findings for this study were a need of reforming the employment policy, changing the education system, and implement and/ or edit policy to create middle-class jobs. Additionally, the study found that there was a mismatch between the market needs and educational outcomes. The study also recommended the need for creating more jobs for women. Last, the study findings called for increasing the cooperation between the private sector and Ministry of Labor to create a more effective employment policy that will generate jobs for the Saudi job seekers.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Dissertations (EdD) -- Organizational leadership; Unemployment -- Saudi Arabia -- Case studies; Private companies -- Saudi Arabia; Job creation -- Law and legislation -- Saudi Arabia

Date of Award


School Affiliation

Graduate School of Education and Psychology



Degree Type


Degree Name


Faculty Advisor

Stephens, Ronald;