Pictured: Jobseekers stand in line to talk with a recruiter at a job fair in Riyadh Source: Reuters

In recent years, unemployment has been a major issue among thousands of young Saudi graduates.

Tackling the continuous rise in unemployment rates, which reached an all-time high last year, is at the forefront of Saudi Arabia's Vision 2030.

Over the weekend, the problem was highlighted on Twitter via the viral hashtag "unemployed since." 

The tag saw hundreds of Saudis share their personal experiences and the challenges faced when looking for jobs in the kingdom. 

"Unemployed since..."

"Unemployed since seven years!"

"Unemployed since seven years! I financially support a family of five in the country of oil! I also have a bachelor's degree." 

"Unemployed since a year after graduating with a bachelor degree in English"

"Don't tell me to work as a cashier or in public schools, their salaries are weak." 

"Unemployed since a year and it's getting worse for me by the day"

Some raised concern over the issue

"I am surprised that unemployment rates are high when there's a huge number of expats working here. What's the root of the problem? Is it the hiring process of entrepreneurs, or the national workforce, or a fault in the industrial system that allows for the hiring of expats rather than nationals?" 

Others said unemployment in Saudi Arabia is "voluntary"

"Being unemployed is a choice in Saudi Arabia. Stop being spoiled and lazy and you'll find work. Shopping centers and companies have their doors open for you after our government ordered Saudization. Stop complaining, look at how people in neighboring countries are living and feel proud to be Saudi." 

"If you don't get a government job, it doesn't mean you have to be unemployed"

"You'll become unemployed if you sleep in at home and want a job where you sit in an air conditioned office all day. Private sector jobs are available and projects are open to you. Apply for a small business loan and work on something yourself. If you just sit at home and complain about your luck... then you deserve to be unemployed." 

Some hoped things will improve in the coming months

"The reforms that have been made under the new reign and the plans signal improvements. Under it, officials: 

- Launched a committee to help end corruption on all levels. 

- Limited over budgeting. 

- Expanded local projects. 

- Opened up to global investments. 

Success doesn't come overnight, it needs time to be achieved." 

Saudi unemployment rates hit all-time high in 2018

In the past two years, Saudi Arabia took major steps to reduce its reliance on foreign labor and open up job opportunities for nationals. 

Despite the fact that more than 800,000 expats have left the kingdom in recent months, the country recorded its highest-ever unemployment rate among citizens during the first quarter of 2018. This rate stayed the same by the end of the year. 

Some attribute the rise of unemployment among nationals to the fact that the kingdom's economy has been feeling the strain of low oil prices over the past couple of years.

Others state that because the majority of Saudis refuse to take up minimum wage jobs, which are mostly filled by expats, the Saudization of such posts doesn't have any effect on unemployment rates.