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Expats remitted SR157bn in 2015

JEDDAH: Remittances by expatriates in the Kingdom reached an all-time high of SR156.9 billion in 2015, up 2.3 percent from a total of SR153.3 billion in remittances during 2014.
In all, SR1.5 trillion in remittances sent by expatriates in the Kingdom have been recorded over a 22-year period.
The increase in expatriate remittances coincides with the issuance of 1.8 million new work permits to expats from several foreign countries during the past Islamic calendar year, about 4.8 percent of which received government recommendations through contracts or endorsements.
This comes at a time when the state has been exerting extensive efforts to improve nationalization levels to reduce the 11.5 percent unemployment level among Saudis.
According to economic reports, the average monthly transfer by an expatriate in the Kingdom was SR1,440 in 2015, while the total number of expatriates working in the private sector in 2015 reached about 9 million employees, in addition to 72,000 in the public sector.
Data from the Saudi Statistics Authority indicates the total number of expatriates in the Kingdom reached 10.7 million by the end of 2014, bringing the average monthly remittance of expatriates (employees or non-employees) to SR1,300 per month.
During the Shoura Council meeting last week, the minister of labor confirmed the 11.5 percent unemployment level in 2015 makes it the lowest in the last five years.
As for the number of expatriates working in the private sector, he said the number of employees increased by 6.3 percent from 8.47 million workers in 2014 to about 9 million employees.
The results of the manpower survey or the first half of 2015, conducted by the Saudi Statistics Authority , showed the Saudi labor force stood at 11.9 million.

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