Unemployment among Saudis falls to 8.3% in Q2

DUBAI: Joblessness among citizens in Saudi Arabia declined to 8.3% in the second quarter, down from 8.5% in the previous quarter and 9.7% in the same period a year ago, official data published on Thursday showed.

The overall rate of unemployment – which includes foreign nationals – stood at 4.9% in Q2, down from 5.8% in the prior year period, data from General Authority for Statistics showed.

Foreign nationals comprise just over 40% of the kingdom’s total population according to the latest census, the majority of whom need an employment contract to live there.

The unemployment rate for female citizens – who have seen certain freedoms expanded under the crown prince – fell to 15.7%, from 19.3% a year ago, although the jobless rate among males remained almost the same from last year and stood at 4.6% in Q2.

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The overall labour market participation rate for Saudi citizens remained consistent year-on-year at 51.7% in Q2 versus 51.8% in Q2/2022.

Job creation for Saudi nationals, over 60% of whom are under the age of 30, is a key part of the ambitious economic agenda known as Vision 2030, spearheaded by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to diversify away from oil.

As part of the wide-ranging strategy, the government has invested in initiatives to expand the private sector, build up local industry and open up the country to tourism and business.

SOURCE: Business Recorder – Latest News

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