Unemployment for Saudis rises slightly to 8.6% in Q3
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Unemployment for Saudis rises slightly to 8.6% in Q3

Unemployment for Saudis rises slightly to 8.6% in Q3

The unemployment rate for Saudis is still lower than the 9.9 per cent recorded in the same period a year ago, according to data from the kingdom

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Saudi Arabia’s foreign reserves fell from SAR1.57tn the previous month

Unemployment for Saudi citizens rose slightly to 8.6 per cent in the third quarter, up from 8.3 per cent in the previous quarter, but still lower than the 9.9 per cent recorded in the same period a year ago, data published on Thursday showed.

The overall unemployment rate – which includes foreign nationals – reached 5.1 per cent, up from 4.9 per cent in the second quarter, data from the General Authority for Statistics showed.

Foreign nationals make up just over 40 per cent of the total population according to the latest census, the majority of whom need an employment contract to live in the country.

Unemployment remains relatively high among Saudis aged 15 to 24, at 13.6 per cent for males and 25.3 per cent for females, with total youth unemployment at 17.4 per cent, up from 17 per cent in the previous quarter, the data showed.

Total Saudi unemployment for citizens between the ages of 24 and 54 was 7.9 per cent, a small rise from 7.5 per cent in the previous quarter.

More than 60 per cent of Saudi citizens are under the age of thirty, and job creation has been a key tenet of Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman’s Vision 2030 programme, which seeks to stimulate the economy and diversify it away from oil.

As part of the drive to decrease the historic dependence on expatriate labour, the government has implemented a “Saudization” programme where companies are required to employ certain quotas of Saudi nationals.

The overall labour market participation rate for Saudi citizens decreased slightly to 51.6 per cent from 51.7 per cent in Q2, and fell from 52.5 per cent in Q3 of 2023.

Unemployment for Saudi women increased to 16.3 per cent, up from 15.7 per cent in Q2, though still lower the previous year’s 20.5 per cent in Q3.

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