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Thursday, August 5, 2021

Unemployed Qataris cite lack of job opportunities

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A lack of career opportunities is the most common reason given by unemployed Qataris for being unable to find work, according to figures released in an official survey.

The latest edition of the Quarterly Labor Force Survey, compiled by Ministry of Development, Planning and Statistics, found that there were 1,522 unemployed Qataris in the second quarter (April to June) of 2014.

The unemployment rate among Qataris is 1.61 percent – a relatively small number compared to many other countries – but comes amid a booming economy that sets aside many jobs for nationals.

The main reason for being unemployed, cited by 930 Qataris, was a lack of job opportunities, followed by a lack of experience (322).

Other common reasons included a lack of academic qualifications (254) and a lack of suitable jobs (234).

Qatarization

Government officials have implemented an ambitious “Qatarization” program that aims to make Qatar more self-sufficient by providing training, qualification and job opportunities for its national workforce.

Last week, the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs (MOLSA) announced it had established a new panel that will push the private sector to give at least 20 percent of its jobs to Qatari nationals, in line with mandatory targets.

With a five-year target as part of an overall plan to increase the number of nationals holding private-sector jobs from 5 to 15 percent, the new committee aims to set up an online jobs and training portal dedicated to Qataris.

Private-sector Qataris

The quarterly labor force surveys suggested that most unemployed Qataris remain unwilling to work in the private sector.

Unsociable working hours, a long working day, lower wages and the frequent requirement to work a six-day week were among the factors that discouraged them from considering employment in private companies.

Of the sample, 72 percent (1,097 people) said they would not consider working for a private company – a slight improvement on the 75 percent who gave the same response in the 2013 survey.

QSA active Q males

The report also shows that nearly one-third of Qatari males over the age of 15 are “economically inactive.”

Of that cohort of 28,451 people, just over half (56 percent) were students, 36 percent were retired and 4.8 percent were classified as being “with difficulties.”

Nearly two-thirds of Qatari women are classified as economically inactive, with the vast majority of those either students (22,238) or homemakers (27,772).

In contrast, just 2 percent of non-Qatari men were considered economically inactive, as were 40 percent of expat women.

Across the total population, unemployment is still negligible, standing at 0.24 percent for the period, reflecting the requirement of expats to be sponsored under the kafala system.

Population increase

Overall, Qatar’s working population stands at  nearly 1.6 million (1,595,302) – up 8 percent on the figures for its workforce over the same period in 2013.

However its overall population rose by nearly 11 percent over the same time, increasing from 1.91 million people in June 2013 to 2.15 million in June this year.

Summer is a popular time for people to move to Qatar and its population figures for September regularly show a significant increase.

Last year’s post-summer influx saw Qatar’s population break the 2 million barrier for the first time and this year is expected to see a similar surge.

Thoughts?

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DB
DB
6 years ago

There’s a huge difference between “lack of job opportunities” and “lack of job opportunities that fit Qataris’ apparently very narrow parameters for acceptable employment.” Also, can someone explain what “unsociable work hours” means?

Yacine
Yacine
6 years ago
Reply to  DB

Any work that is not between 8am and 2pm is considered unsociable for many locals, especially women. Those who take their kids to school in the morning need to be granted the permission to come late everyday, and breastfeeding women need to be given shorter work hours (4 or 5 hours a day rather than the usual 6 or 7). Unless these things are taken into consideration by the employer, many locals won’t accept the job offer.

Jaded
Jaded
6 years ago
Reply to  Yacine

Many people I know in the private sector (myself included) drop off their kids at school and it’s not an issue with the employer. That’s not to say they don’t complain (again myself included) about the traffic, how long it takes, how early they how to leave home and some also drop off kids earlier than they need to in order to get to work early enough. So it’s not pleasant or relaxing, but it’s done and very common.

Chilidog
Chilidog
6 years ago
Reply to  Yacine

At the school where my kid goes, the local kids are dropped off by the drivers and maids. So school schedule “should” have no inclement effects on mom’s and/or dad’s work schedule. They have proxy parents to take care of the duties that most expats have to manage themselves.

Anonymous
Anonymous
6 years ago
Reply to  DB

Actually, there are some majors that can’t get you a job in Qatar. I know someone who majored in anthropology, and this was I think in the 80s. There were literally no job opportunities for him at the time. Although, admittedly, things are changing and there are way more opportunities than previously.

Chilidog
Chilidog
6 years ago
Reply to  Anonymous

I think this is the same as most places in the world, but may be exacerbated in a smaller country like Qatar. I had a friend back home that got his PhD in concert piano. Needless to say, he had a tough job search. About the only option was waiting until a place opened at a university so he could teach there. Part of picking your major is analyzing the job market for what you want to do after graduating and where those potential jobs may or may not be located.

Anonymous
Anonymous
6 years ago
Reply to  Chilidog

Yeah that’s true. Although Qatar is growing fast and there are plenty more diverse job opportunities than before. But yeah, I guess a PhD in concert piano will be difficult here and elsewhere in the world 🙂

Lionel_Shaon_
Lionel_Shaon_
6 years ago
Reply to  Chilidog

So gone are the days when people picked a major based on what they actually wanted to do in life

Diego
Diego
6 years ago
Reply to  DB

That was my first question as well.However,the definition would be quite a variable in Qatar.People in Education City,teachers especially could not say their hours ar unsociable as they have 5 day weeks and long vacations of 1 week up to 2 months several times yearly.Ask the Nepalese security guard at a Villa and his definition would be different ( vacation time every two years when he gets to go home).Frankly if Qataris do not want to work in the Education economy ( very few are teachers) and think public work hours are not cool,then they lead themselves open for criticism.

fullmoon07
fullmoon07
6 years ago
Reply to  Diego

in the whole Qatar Foundation there is only one Qatari professor, woman. Independently from working hours, to be a professor you have to study and be a highly educated person in order to teach others. That means dedication and sacrifice….how many are willing to do so?

Jaded
Jaded
6 years ago

Right, we’ll I’m going to give this a shot, going to send out my CV with the header: seeking job with massive salary, little to do and highly flexible, short hours.

greg
greg
6 years ago
Reply to  Jaded

Just saw my question was already answered…

The Reporter
The Reporter
6 years ago
Reply to  Jaded

Great post Jaded. Thanks for the chuckle.

snclllr
snclllr
6 years ago

Unsociable working hours, a long working day, lower wages and the frequent requirement to work a six-day week were among the factors that discouraged them from considering employment in private companies.

*** There you go… there’s your answer…. It’s not the lack of job opportunity…

You could simply rephrase the article and say Unemployed Qataris cite lack of “GM” opportunities.

Michael L
Michael L
6 years ago

Yet again this is statistically improbable … Correct me if I’m wrong but the figures here indicate that the total number of Qataris able to work is just over 94,000. This seems a little low out of a population of approximately 300,000. Doha News continually misreports or misunderstands statistics …. You do many things very well but statistics and the interrogation of are clearly not your strength.

Pete
Pete
6 years ago
Reply to  Michael L

I agree. I have previously seen stats….perhaps on this site, that gave a significantly higher percentage of employable Qataris who were unemployed, mostly by choice. 1.6% as quoted in this story seems way off the mark.

Lesley Walker
Lesley Walker
6 years ago
Reply to  Michael L

The figure of “economically active” Qataris, as published by the Ministry in the study, is 94,229. This includes those in paid employment, and those seeking work/officially unemployed.
According to the figures, there are another 88,180 Qatari nationals who are not “economically active”. The Ministry figures for this group includes those who are retired, studying, homemakers and some other categories.
These people are not classified as unemployed.
This brings their total number of Qataris aged 15+ to 182,409 people.
There is a hyperlink to the report online, and the relevant information is on P2 of the report.

osamaalassiry
osamaalassiry
6 years ago
Reply to  Lesley Walker

“over 15” is a funny criterion, seems to come from elsewhere… In Qatar, it’s illegal to employ anybody under 18.

Jaded
Jaded
6 years ago
Reply to  osamaalassiry

Unless I’m mistaken employment can start from 16 however only with consent of the father or guardian, and there’s more red tape involved, I’m guessing that’s why they used that number as cut-off, but for all intents and purposes stats should be based on 18+

osamaalassiry
osamaalassiry
6 years ago
Reply to  Jaded

@disqus_j0LYn7qiNI:disqus … it can be 16 with consent as you said, but it’s very rare. I guess 15 came from a requirement of a report they send to the UN or UNESCO…

Mr. B
6 years ago
Reply to  osamaalassiry

Why is that? (Genuinely curious; I come from a culture that values getting people to work at 16 and above, partially because of our values, but also partially because our economy simply needs low-skilled, low-paid workers for a variety of jobs, esp. seasonal work).

greg
greg
6 years ago

Define lack of opportunities…

BBCA
BBCA
6 years ago
Reply to  greg

Carrefour and Lulu Hypermarket does not count….

greg
greg
6 years ago
Reply to  BBCA

Karwa taxi?

BBCA
BBCA
6 years ago
Reply to  greg

LOL Neither Popeyes chicken, McDonalds, Giant, woogod gas station, or any other labor intensive lower wage job.

I remember summers school breaks in the United States taking a job at McDonalds, and cutting the neighbor’s yard for extra cash. Its a shame that even these jobs are below Qatari Youth.

Mohammed Albanai
Mohammed Albanai
6 years ago

this is only for the private sector. most qatari’s are employed, we just tend to go for government jobs as they pay more

Observant One
Observant One
6 years ago

and require a lot less accountability…who is going to performance manage a local who comes and goes as he pleases and does as little as he pleases? Big problem in the public sector, big problem…..

Mohammed Albanai
Mohammed Albanai
6 years ago
Reply to  Observant One

another local, from what i noticed departments that have many qatar’s tend to hold locals more accountable than ones with mostly expats. because A) locals arent afraid of giving another local a deadline and hammering them hard when they dont meet it, many expats are actually afraid of giving a local significant work. B) many expats dont want to give locals work because they know as soon as he capable of doing the job hes taking the expats job.

Observant One
Observant One
6 years ago

Exactly. But out of interest how does this hammering work with different levels of power each different family holds?

Mohammed Albanai
Mohammed Albanai
6 years ago
Reply to  Observant One

depends on your boss, some bosses couldnt care less which family your from others do. although usually hammering starts off with a warning if that doesnt work then they try more stern measures (pay cut, contacting HR or firing )

Observant One
Observant One
6 years ago

Thanks for the insight.

Jaded
Jaded
6 years ago

Deadline?

Mohammed Albanai
Mohammed Albanai
6 years ago
Reply to  Jaded

dead·line
ˈdedˌlīn/
noun
1.
the latest time or date by which something should be completed.

Jaded
Jaded
6 years ago

Yeah, nice one

Expat Girl
Expat Girl
6 years ago

Insha’Allah…

BBCA
BBCA
6 years ago
Reply to  Expat Girl

Insha’Allah… I will file my TPS reports. LOL If you ever watched the movie “Office space” you would get it!

Expat Girl
Expat Girl
6 years ago
Reply to  BBCA

Thank you for quoting my favorite movie!!! “So… what is it, you say, you do here?!” “I’m a PEOPLE person!!” Greatness…

Jaded
Jaded
6 years ago
Reply to  BBCA

Have you seen my stapler?

Diego
Diego
6 years ago

I can see what you are saying.However I think accountability at work should be “universal” and the same for all.

MIMH
MIMH
6 years ago

And so would nearly every other human on the planet. I don’t really see the problem but some people expect Qataris to take jobs that pay less and have to work more. Who in the world wants that?!?!

Observant One
Observant One
6 years ago

Two options…. the workforce needs to downsize dramatically or the locals are going to have to multiply at a faster rate then a LC hurtling down the expressway to meet the percentages quoted for Qatarisation. The sums don’t add up.

MIMH
MIMH
6 years ago

Indian labourer overwhelmed by opportunities in Qatar but complains about not getting salaries paid for six months, denied exit permit by his sponsor and non renewal of RP which makes him illegal due to his employers negligence as his main problems.

It’s a non story really. If they don’t have jobs they like and they don’t have to work, who really cares.

Diego
Diego
6 years ago
Reply to  MIMH

They may some day when they look back on the chasim of what could have been and what is.But by then tires for their Bugatti Veyrons may be soo expensive that they may need to work part time to pay for them.

Observant One
Observant One
6 years ago

NB…Photo at top of article….The richest country in the world (per capita) and you have to sit on an old hard drive computer module, no wonder people don’t want to work, perhaps supply a decent office chair?

abdulla
abdulla
6 years ago

Obviously the Author intended to stir things up by Heading the article with an “inacurate” banner, Like any other nation every one is looking for better oppertunities. Since Qatar has established it self as the richest country in the world, it only seems fair to look for the best jobs. Both in terms of pay, working hours, etc
I think the title should read lack of “suitable” oppertunities. Which is not common due to the competitive market and resistance of employers to take risks on “bad reputation and steriotyped Qataris” compared to “cheaper” less risky expats.
However this does not apply to senior level jobs, since expats are payed twice as much for jobs that qulaified Qatari’s can do (exepct for the ones with Wasta!).
The issue is not black and white, Qataris come from different backgrounds, some with big families, others with very influencial ties and some without any of the previous strengths.
Finally, please do not generalize and each case has it’s own story.

AEC
AEC
6 years ago
Reply to  abdulla

It may have the highest average incomes in the world but it is not the “richest country in the world”. In total wealth it would probably be comparable to Louisiana.

SullyofDoha
SullyofDoha
6 years ago

The GREAT news is that these fine people CAN get a government job…with the Qatari Armed Forces.

osamaalassiry
osamaalassiry
6 years ago

LOL. All the comments are exactly as expected…

Gareth Walters
Gareth Walters
6 years ago
Reply to  osamaalassiry

perhaps there is a reason for that? there are a lot of very well qualified and hard working Qataris. but does purely being Qatari entitle you to walk straight into a high paying job with a huge salary?
there is plenty of work out there, I work in recruitment, but from my experience Qatari people are not interested in taking jobs that they often see are below them. For whatever reason Qatari people seem to have unrealistic expectations of what is available to them.

MIMH
MIMH
6 years ago
Reply to  osamaalassiry

Again I would point out it is a human story not a Qatari one. If opportunities available are more salary for less work hours then why would you want to accept less money and more hours in the private sector unless it was your vocation.

Chilidog
Chilidog
6 years ago
Reply to  osamaalassiry

Mr. Osama, From your past comments you seem to be well educated and very level headed. As a Qatari how do you like what the data says and how it reflects on your fellow Qatari workers? What do you see as a solution beyond a random unattainable target? A lot of the comments here are repeats of the similar article last week. (BTW…. your estimation of how the 20% target was reached was hilarious. Not sure how true to life that actually might be, but funny nonetheless.)

osamaalassiry
osamaalassiry
6 years ago
Reply to  Chilidog

After 10+ years in government and around 6 in the private sector, I think I know what I’m saying 😉

The data says that most Qataris have jobs.
The data says that most Qataris work in the government ( I have nothing agaist the idea, it’s a lot more bureaucratic, but these are required jobs )

Maybe no solution is required, maybe there’s no problem… Maybe a better idea is to listen to what the Qataris want instead of assuming what the best “solution” is…

This video is about aid in Africa, but some of the same concepts apply:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=chXsLtHqfdM

Mr. B
6 years ago
Reply to  osamaalassiry

What about the idea of an overheated economy? There is such a thing as a healthy unemployment rate that allows employers to choose the best qualified candidates rather than having to take just anyone since the pool of available workers is too small. I don’t think many economists would say that a rate below 2% is healthy.

Chilidog
Chilidog
6 years ago
Reply to  osamaalassiry

The situation of excess money in Qatar is certainly interesting, and one I’m sure all governments in the world wish they had to “deal with.” I would agree with you that the best solution might be to not rock the boat. In my view, it appears that the government is trying to prepare Qatar for when the gas runs out and a lot of the expats leave, i.e. reduce dependence on expat labor. It’s not a bad idea, but pushing a 20% Qatarisation regulation isn’t probably the best means to that end. I haven’t been in Qatar too long, so there’s no way I can offer a better solution. I’ll be honest, if I was in the position to hold a government job on Qatar I can’t say I’d be too interested in a private sector job, considering what differences I know if between the two. Thanks for your comments.

Masboro
Masboro
6 years ago

Let’s be honest there are no lack of job opportunities, Lulu’s, Carrefore etc. but these are not considered to be ‘Qatari’ jobs. Personally, if I had the wealth that some of these people have, I wouldn’t even consider working as there are far better things to do with your life.

Ms. Hala
6 years ago

My company hasn’t hired a Qatari in years because they know they’ll have to offer a different and higher salary package than what they offer expats. I’m all for Qatarization to force more companies to be diversified. Even at the 20% rate which sounds a little exasperated for the population, Qatar will always need expats to support their developing country.

And for the record, this generalization of Qataris as per the comments here are so far from reality. People in general, no matter the ethnicity, can be hard workers or lazy suckers.

BBCA
BBCA
6 years ago

Boo hoo. ~sniff~sniff~ Just start at the bottom and work your way up like the rest of the world. It is not so bad and sometimes it actually makes you good at the job that you finally obtain with the experience that you gain along the way.

outdoorsboys
outdoorsboys
6 years ago

There is always the option of working abroad, if there are no attractive opportunities at home. It is quite a common scenario, and young Qataris would also find that they can visit home whenever they wish, without written permission, or leave for a better job with more money if the opportunity presents itself.

BigDaddyDK
BigDaddyDK
6 years ago

“[A] lack of suitable jobs.”

Surely they must be kidding. There must be a plethora of jobs awaiting anyone with a skill set that involves talking on the phone, sending SMS messages, ignoring people in line, and sitting still while someone from India, Pakistan, the Philippines, or other similar country that provides cheap labor, takes someone’s Qatar ID to get photocopied.

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