An Asian labourer looks on as he works at the construction site of a building in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia August 4, 2016. REUTERS/Faisal Al Nasser
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Saudi Arabia's expatriate workers are leaving the by the thousands, and the exodus may not yet be over.The number of foreign workers declined by 6 percent to 10.2 million in the first three months of 2018 compared with a year ago, taking the cumulative drop over the five past quarters to about 700,000, according to official data released this month. But the data also show unemployment among Saudi nationals rising slightly to 12.9 percent, underscoring the struggle to create jobs as the economy slowly recovers from the worst economic slowdown since the financial crisis in 2009 .According to Al-Watan newspaper, the government may revise plans that ordered most retail businesses to replace all foreign workers with Saudis, reducing the percentage of nationals to 70 percent.
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