Economic expert disputes claims from authority
The Saudi Contractors’ Authority (SCA) has claimed that 152,000 Saudi women are working in the Kingdom’s construction and contracting sector, citing statistics it has released for the fourth quarter of 2018.
According to the figures released by SCA, expatriates made up 85.39% of the total number of the workers in the sectors, with Saudi locals accounting for 14.61%. More than three million expats were employed in KSA’s construction and contracting sector at the end of last year, while Saudis amounted to 511,000, a report by The Saudi Gazette added, citing the SCA figures.
The authority said that there were 4.2 million workers in the sector in 2017, but that their numbers came down to 3.5 million last year. It added that there were 162,446 contracting and construction establishments in the Kingdom in 2018, up from 16,262 in 2017. About 43,000 of these firms are in Riyadh, 32,000 are in Makkah, 24,000 in the Eastern Province and 16,000 in Qassim.
SCA added that there are 91,000 construction companies, 43,000 specialised construction firms, and 1,300 civil engineering consultants.
However, an economic expert has disputed the veracity of the figures released SCA, highlighting that the number of women cited by SCA seemed excessively high. Speaking to Arabic daily Al-Watan, Fadi Al Buainain said that while it was true that some major contracting and construction companies might have created job opportunities for women, he said that this number would be limited in all cases.
“Their number could be nowhere near 152,000. This is downright example of fake Saudisation. What will the women do in the sector of contracting and construction?” he was quoted as saying in Al-Watan.