Gulf Labour Markets and Migration
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GLMM Database - Demographic and Economic Database

Saudi Arabia: Work permits issued by occupation category (private sector, 2005-2016)

Occupation group of labour permit’ holder year
2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016
Managers and Business Managers 2,734 2,696 3,074 2,805 2,195 2,571 2,917 5,783 17,759 43,168 62,128 65,925
Specialists in Scientific, Technical and Humanities Fields 126,026 141,212 165,374 202,815 193,168 220,620 246,072 346,015 574,031 670,622 731,283 706,920
Technicians in Scientific, Technical and Humanities Fields 128,777 149,232 181,873 215,444 210,863 227,939 274,137 355,758 541,819 679,036 758,143 720,876
Clerical Workers 3,015 2,839 3,035 3,516 2,782 2,787 2,824 4,655 21,724 53,177 61,239 60,311
Sales Persons 87,332 86,441 84,097 89,070 64,240 60,404 76,451 96,774 224,624 397,408 484,391 509,897
Service Persons 976,412 1,052,607 1,107,318 1,227,295 1,097,139 1,097,820 1,321,468 1,476,851 2,093,041 2,206,953 2,600,583 2,681,555
Agriculture, Animal Husbandry and Fishing 173,927 117,042 182,101 320,285 89,161 85,516 101,872 104,082 122,665 89,735 96,268 95,342
Industrial, Chemical and Food Industries  98,731 107,942 122,535 136,856 128,052 121,719 146,705 157,049 213,935 210,646 228,416 218,854
Engineering Support 762,347 881,072 1,113,632 1,400,231 1,435,208 1,526,254 1,915,647 2,263,432 3,063,833 3,169,703 3,497,091 3,190,830
Autres 4,405
TOTAL 2,359,301 2,541,083 2,963,039 3,598,317 3,222,808 3,345,630 4,088,093 4,811,095 6,874,799 7,520,448 8,519,542 8,254,915

Source: Ministry of Labour
 
1. Data collection methodology

The issuance of the residency and work permits begins with filing an application with the Ministry of Labor.
After its approval, the Ministry of Labour forwards the application to the Ministry of Interior for the issuance of the residency permit.

Classification used for occupations is adapted from ISCO 1988.

2. Institution which provides data 

Ministry of Labour, now Ministry of Labour and Social Development (MLSD) (https://mlsd.gov.sa/en/node)

3. Data availability 

Published in Ministry of Labour’s Statistical Yearbooks
MoL’s Yearbooks until 2015 are no longer available on MLSD’s website.
The “open data” section of the Ministry’s website (Arabic only) has the figure of work permits issued in 2016, by occupation category:
https://mlsd.gov.sa/ar/open-data

Last date of access: 4 November 2018.

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