Saudi Arabia to Limit Shopping Mall Jobs to Own Nationals

In this Friday, Dec. 11, 2015 photo, Saudi women shop at a mall in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Women across Saudi Arabia marked a historic milestone on Saturday, Dec. 12, 2015, both voting and running as candidates in government elections for the first time. (AP Photo/Khalid Mohammed)
AP/Khalid Mohammed

(REUTERS) — Saudi Arabia’s labor minister issued an order on Thursday to restrict employment in shopping malls to Saudi nationals, who currently make up only one in five staff in the retail sector.

The kingdom has been steadily closing off different areas of employment to foreigners, who comprise about a third of the population, as it aims to create jobs for young Saudis and cut the unemployment rate among nationals.

A statement from the minister for labor and social development, posted on Twitter, defined malls as “closed commercial centers”, but did not elaborate on the number of jobs affected or a timeline for implementation.

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