Saudi unemployment falls to lowest in over 3 years
Riyadh, Saudi Arabai -
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 per cent in the third quarter from 12.3 per cent 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 per cent 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 labour 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 per cent for the past three years, especially testing the patience of young Saudis entering the labour market.