Unemployment Rate for Female Citizens declined to 15.7% from 19.3% in the Past Year.
In a sign of economic strength, Saudi Arabia’s unemployment rate has dropped to its lowest point in a year. The latest data from the country’s statistics authority, the General Authority for Statistics (GAS), reveals that unemployment among Saudi citizens fell to 8.3% in Q2 2023, down from 8.5% in the previous quarter and 9.7% from the same period a year ago. The overall unemployment rate, including foreign nationals, stands at 4.9%, a decline from 5.8% in the previous year.
Notably, the unemployment rate among female citizens saw a decrease, reaching 15.7% in Q2 2023, compared to 16.1% in the previous quarter. However, unemployment among Saudi males remained stable at 4.6% during the same period.
In addition to lower unemployment, the data indicates a decline in the overall labor force participation rate, which dropped to 60.8% in the second quarter of 2023 compared to the first quarter. Among Saudis, the participation rate decreased to 51.7% in Q2 2023. The labor force participation rate for Saudi females fell to 35.3%, and for Saudi males, it dropped to 67.5% in Q2 2023, down from 68.3% in the previous quarter.
Saudi Employment in the Context of Vision 2030
Meanwhile, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) reported a remarkable 8% reduction in Saudi Arabia’s unemployment rate in the past year, marking its lowest recorded level. Youth unemployment also saw a substantial drop, halving to 16.8% in 2022 compared to the peak levels during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Saudi Arabia closely monitors its unemployment rate, a critical indicator as it strives to generate employment opportunities for its citizens in a private sector dominated mainly by foreign labor. Job creation, especially for the country’s youth, who comprise over 60% of the population and are predominantly under age 35, is a pivotal component of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s ambitious economic roadmap known as Vision 2030.
The nation’s economy is in the midst of a transformation, with ongoing reforms aimed at reducing its heavy reliance on oil revenues, diversifying income sources, and bolstering competitiveness.