The percentage of unemployed Saudis has increased with more than one in 10 still out of work, according to a second quarter survey by the country’s General Statistics Authority.
The survey conducted in May 2016 with households from across the country revealed that 11.6 per cent of the population aged 15 and above was unemployed.
This represented a slight increase on the previous year’s 11.5 per cent.
GaStat found that the Saudi labour force reached roughly 5.66 million individuals, or 40.2 per cent of the Saudi population aged 15 years and above during the quarter.
Of this group, just over 5 million were employed, the majority of which (83.4 per cent) were male, and 657,936 were unemployed.
In the unemployed group, 39.2 per were in the 25 to 29 age group. The largest number of unemployed men was in the 20 to 24 age group at 40.7 per cent. For women it was the 25 to 29 age group with 41.7 per cent.
More than half (53.7 per cent) of unemployed Saudis were found to hold a bachelor’s degree, comprising 24.2 per cent of men and 70 per cent of women.
Individuals who had not married accounted for 56.4 per cent of those unemployed.
In contrast, only 5.6 per cent of the country’s overall working age population, including expatriates, was found to be unemployed.
The total labour force in the country reached 12.38 million individuals, or 54.9 per cent of the population aged 15 years and above, with 11.68 million employed, according to GaStat.
The government has recently boosted its efforts to employ nationals through the imposition of quotas requiring companies to make sure a certain percentage of their workforce is Saudi.
The Ministry of Labour targeted the mobile shop sector earlier this year and is expected to focus on car sales and rentals once its deadline for 100 per cent Saudisation is reached early next month.