By Sam Bridge
Jadwa Investment says Saudi labour market is witnessing a higher participation rate among the younger generation
Unemployment in Saudi Arabia is likely to continue to improve as a pick-up in the non-oil private sector growth should translate to more jobs, according to new research.
Jadwa Investment said it expects further improvement in the Saudi labour market after unemployment fell to 12 percent in the third quarter of 2019, down from 12.3 percent in the previous quarter.
Its analysis of figures released by the General Authority for Statistics (GaStat) said that Q3 witnessed a higher participation rate among the younger generation (20-24 years old), rising from 29 percent in Q2 to 31.4 percent in Q3, the highest since early 2017.
The data also showed that the total number of expats in the Saudi labour market declined by nearly 2 million since the start of 2017, with around 56,000 workers leaving the market during Q3.
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 Q3.
The third quarter of 2019 also witnessed a notable growth in employment in a number of sectors, for both Saudis and expats.
While the number of Saudi workers declined in three sectors, with the remaining sectors seeing a varying level of rises in hiring amongst locals.
However, Jadwa said declines in three main sectors - construction, wholesale and retail, and manufacturing - have had a negative impact on total hiring for Saudis during Q3.