General Authority for Statistics data shows significant drop in unemployment among those aged 20-24 during second quarter
Unemployment in Saudi Arabia fell during the second quarter of 2019 as the number of young jobless declined significantly, according to latest official figures.
The General Authority for Statistics (GaStat) labour market release for Q2 showed that unemployment declined to 12.3 percent, down from 12.5 percent in Q1.
Citing the figures, Jadwa Investment said a significant drop in youth unemployment for both male and female participants (aged 20-24) had the biggest impact on unemployment in Q2.
Both male and female labur force participation rates increased during Q2, with male participation up to 66 percent and female participation rising to 23.2 percent.
The also data showed that the total number of expats in the Saudi labour market declined by around 1.9 million since the start of 2017, with around 132,000 workers leaving the market during Q2.
Looking at sectorial employment, the largest declines in the number of expat workers were seen in the construction sector, followed by wholesale and retail during Q2.
At the same time, several sectors saw an increase in the number of Saudi workers such as public administration, mining and accommodation and food.
"Looking ahead, we believe a pick-up in the non-oil private sector growth should translate to a continued improvement in employment levels," said Jadwa Investment in its research note.
Joblessness is one of the biggest challenges facing Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman three years into his efforts to diversify the economy of the world’s biggest oil exporter.
While his blueprint for the post-oil era was based on cutting the public payroll, he acknowledged in an interview last October that government hiring could be part of the solution, but said “the job creation in the private sector will also grow with time".