As many as three out of every four Saudi Arabian companies expect to freeze hiring over the next two quarters because of a slowdown in the world’s top oil exporter’s economy,a bank survey has said.
“As the slowdown in the economy is unfolding we are not surprised with 74 per cent of the respondents who expect over the next two quarters to institute a hiring freeze,” a report by SABB,HSBC’s Saudi affiliate,said in a quarterly survey of 765 companies.
“It is evident that the labour market is no longer facing a dearth of skilled workforce,” it added.
The percentage of respondents expecting business growth over the next two quarters has fallen to 42 per cent,down from 54 per cent in the fourth quarter and below half its level in the third quarter of 2008.
Only a quarter of respondents reported a rise in production capacity.
Saudi Arabia has so far suffered less from the repercussions of the global financial crisis compared with some Gulf Arab countries,but since it has the largest population in the region,the kingdom faces a bigger challenge in meeting growing job demands from its native population.