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Dishing out burgers and fries slathered with melted cheese, "One Way Burger" is like any other trendy food truck in Riyadh.In the once tax-free petro-state, which long offered its citizens cradle-to-grave welfare, blue-collar occupations such as cooking, cleaning and working at gas stations have largely been the preserve of foreign workers, who far outnumber Saudis.But Saudis are increasingly taking on such "low status" jobs in a new age of austerity when gas is no longer cheaper than water, with the government trimming oil-funded subsidies and tackling sluggish economic growth and high unemployment.Still, many Saudis, long-reliant on the welfare state for secure and undemanding white-collar jobs, are embracing manual labor jobs.Last December, residents of eastern Al-Ahsa region feted a handful of young Saudis who swallowed their pride to do another job long deemed dishonorable – working at a gas station.Saudi economist Abdullah al-Maghlouth said the new economy will push more Saudis to become plumbers, carpenters and tailors, jobs that were acceptable decades ago in the preoil boom era.Unemployment among Saudis rose to nearly 13 percent in the first quarter of this year.The challenge, observers say, is not just to create more jobs for Saudis but also to convince citizens to take them.
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