Saudi unemployment rate edges up to 11.6%

Rise comes despite Saudisation efforts, female jobless rate improves by 0.1%



Unemployment among Saudis edged up by 0.1 percent to 11.6 percent in the second quarter of this year, according to official statistics.

The news comes despite strenuous efforts by the country to get more of its nationals into work, and highlights the difficulties in finding jobs for a fast-growing, youthful population.

According to a survey put out by the General Authority for Statistics, 61 percent of unemployed Saudis were women.

In total, 33.7 percent of Saudi women are unemployed, with that figure improving by 0.1 percent since the second half of last year.

The highest percentage of Saudis out of work was in the 25-29 age bracket, where 39 percent were unemployed.

For Saudi women in that age bracket, 42 percent were unemployed.

 The survey also found that just under a third of Saudis (31.9 percent) worked in service industries, while 19.4 percent worked as “technicians in the science, art and humanitarian fields”.

The Saudi government has introduced several new measures in recent years in a bid to lower the unemployment rate, particularly in the private sector.

However, the lower oil price has put pressure on government budgets, leading to a slowdown in public-sector hiring.

Saudi Arabia’s total unemployment rate – including expatriates who are not permitted to remain in the country without a job – was 5.6 percent.

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