Joblessness slipped to 12 percent in the third quarter from 12.3 percent in the previous three months
Saudi Arabia’s citizen unemployment rate fell to the lowest in more than three years as the kingdom’s non-oil economy gradually recovers from a slowdown.
Joblessness slipped to 12 percent in the third quarter from 12.3 percent in the previous three months, according to a summary of labour data published on Sunday by the official General Authority for Statistics.
Unemployment dropped for both men and women - though Saudi female unemployment remains over 30 percent as more women enter the labour force seeking jobs.
Saudi Arabia’s unemployment is a key indicator watched by officials as they try to create jobs for nationals in a private sector dominated by foreign labour. Until now, improvements in the labor market have continued to lag a rebound in non-oil growth this year to the fastest since 2015, a reflection of the persistent weaknesses in business confidence that’s been made worse by a string of fiscal reforms such as new taxes and fees.
Joblessness among nationals has held at or above 12 percent for the past three years, especially testing the patience of young Saudis entering the labour market.