Arab economies in the twenty-first century
Saudi Arabia . . . presents a somewhat classic case of an Arab country that is not managing its demographic transition well. In fact, even though Saudi Arabia has the world’s largest oil reserves, it can hardly employ all of its youth, let alone its graduates. Despite the efforts of the Saudi government, which acts as the employer of last resort, unemployment is a serious problem. The high jobless rate is also a threat to the country’s stability. To make matters worse, the Saudi private sector would rather hire expatriates than Saudis. The education system apparently does not produce the skills the economy needs, and that seems to be the problem with a number of Arab oil-producing countries, particularly in the Gulf.