Saudi unem­ploy­ment falls to low­est in over 3 years

Muscat Daily - - NATION -

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.

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