The limited success of Saudization program in curbing the unemployment of Saudi Nationals led to the introduction of a supplemental program called the “Nitaqat” in 2011. This paper gives an overview of the Saudization and Nitaqat programs. It also examines the performance of the Saudization program pre and post Nitaqat. Data show that Nitaqat has led to a significant increase in the number of Saudis employed in the private sector. However, it has not been able to reduce the unemployment rate among Saudis while causing the exacerbation of Ghost Saudization and the closure of more than 200,000 firms in two years.
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