Saudi unemployment falls as more women join workforce

Unemployment in Saudi Arabia falls to its lowest mark for more than two years in the first quarter of 2019
Saudi unemployment falls as more women join workforce
By Sam Bridge
Tue 18 Jun 2019 01:37 PM

Unemployment in Saudi Arabia fell to its lowest mark for more than two years in the first quarter of 2019, according to latest official figures.

General Authority for Statistics (GaStat) labour market statistics for Q1, cited in research by Jadwa Investment, showed that unemployment declined to 12.5 percent, reaching its lowest rate since Q4 2016.

Total youth unemployment - covering thoses aged 20-24 years - also continued to decline, from 36.6 percent in Q4 2018 to 36.3 percent in Q1, helped by a significant drop in female youth unemployment, the report said.

It added that female labour force participation continued to rise, reaching 20.5 percent in Q1, up from 20.2 percent in the previous quarter.
   
The data also revealed that the total number of foreigners in the Saudi labour market declined by around 1.8 million since the start of 2017, with around 185,000 workers leaving the market during Q1.
   
Jadwa said that in the year to April, the Ministry of Labour announced the employment of 64,000 Saudis through a number of agreements with public and private entities, which is equal to 8 percent of estimated total unemployed persons.

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