Nationalization drive failing in Qatar

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Official government figures reveal that Qatar’s job market is still heavily dominated by foreign workers, while women are also working much harder than men.
Young Qatari nationals checking out Ooredoo Telecom stall during Qatar Career Fair 2013. Latest official government information reveals that Qatar’s job market is still heavily dominated by foreign workers, and women are working much harder than men. Photo-Ooredoo

Official government information reveals that Qatar’s job market is still heavily dominated by foreign workers, while women are working much harder than men.

The first quarter data shows that for each Qatari worker, there are as many as 16 expatriates in the workplace. The figures do not show encouraging results for the state’s nationalization drive in the private sector. In 2012, the ratio of citizens in private employment fell down to a dismal 0.88 percent. In the current year Q1, a total of 1.46 million workers were registered in Qatar. Out of the total, only 86,000 were citizens of Qatar, while 1.38 million workers were non-Qatari.

At the same time, women were putting in more work hours during the day compared to men. On average, women are working about 52 hours per week, compared to 49 for men. Average working hours in the construction sector were longest and ranged between 52 and 56 hours.

With the population now crossing the 1.9 million mark, the Qatar Statistics Authority (QSA) reveals that women accounted for only 11.9 percent of the total workforce.

However, the future remains encouraging as women are actively seeking education and striving to take part in the active labor force. By the end of first quarter, a total of 80,763 students were enrolled in Qatar education facilities, out of which 37,673 were Qatari. Female students formed a higher proportion than make students in both Qatari and expatriate communities.

A large chunk of the workforce is formed by young people between 15 and 44 years. They comprised about 80 percent of the workforce in this year’s first quarter. While unemployment was generally not highlighted as a major concern, in Q1, 2013, some 1,357 citizens were looking for their first job. In the expatriate communities, 2,958 workers are looking for their first job.

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