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Mon 28 Jan 2019 09:00 AM

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Saudi unemployment slightly eases to 12.8% in Q3 2018

Saudi Arabia's government will contribute to the salaries of nationals in the private sector to motivate companies to hire locals

Saudi unemployment slightly eases to 12.8% in Q3 2018
Unemployment among nationals in Saudi Arabia had hit a record high of 12.9% in the first quarter of last year as private employers were affected by a new sales tax and a rise in domestic fuel prices.

Unemployment among nationals in Saudi Arabia has marginally dropped to 12.8% in the third quarter of 2018, according to official figures released by the country's General Authority for Statistics (GaStat).

The rate had hit a record high of 12.9% in the first quarter of last year as private employers were affected by a new sales tax and a rise in domestic fuel prices.

In the second quarter of 2018, labour force participation among females had risen from 17.4% in the previous year to 19.6% at the end of June 2018, according to analysts Jadwa Investment.

However, they said that while the number of females joining the labour market has increased, the rate of unemployed females is still higher than that of unemployed males.

Saudisation

In November last year, the Ministry of Labour and Social Development has announced 68 new initiatives to stimulate Saudisation in the private sector, distributed between job seekers and employers.

In January this year, Saudi Arabia's government said it will contribute to the salaries of nationals employed in the private sector as part of a wider effort to motivate companies to hire local nationals and boost their participation in the labour market.

Ahmad Al-Rajhi, the Saudi Minister of Labor and Social Development, said that the move was designed to help upskill Saudi employees and prepare them for future employment.

As part of the programme, monthly wages will be supported by sums of between SAR 4,000 ($1,066) and SAR 10,000 ($2,666).