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Unemployment Rate Drops to 8.5% in Saudi Arabia

Unemployment Rate Drops to 8.5% in Saudi Arabia

Saturday, 23 January, 2021 - 11:30
Women walk at a market in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia (File photo: Reuters)

Unemployment rate for the workforce in Saudi Arabia dropped, including a decrease in unemployment among Saudis, according to the latest statistics of the General Authority for Statistics (GASTAT).

The Authority published Friday the labor market statistics for Q3 2020 which revealed that the unemployment rate among Saudis reached 14.9 percent, while the overall unemployment rate for Saudis and non-Saudis dropped to 8.5 percent.

Saudi Arabia's total labor force participation rate was 59.5 percent in Q3 of 2020.

Compared to the Q2 of 2020, labor force indicators showed a drop in the Saudi unemployment rate from 15.4 percent to 14.9 percent, and the Saudi male unemployment rate reached 7.9 percent, decreasing 0.2 pp.

The labor force participation rate of Saudis reached a level of 49 percent in Q3 of 2020.

Saudi males labor force participation rate amounted to 66 percent, increasing 0.3 pp compared to the last quarter, while the Saudi female labor force participation rate amounted to 31.3 percent in Q3 2020, decreasing 0.1 pp compared to the last quarter.

The Authority explained that the labor market statistics were based on two main sources; the labor force survey and the administrative data.

The labor force survey, issued by the General Authority for Statistics, is a sample household survey that is carried out by telephone calls to households. They provide estimates of the population inside and outside the labor force.

The survey serves the most important indicators of the labor market, such as the unemployment rate and the labor force participation rate.

It provides information on the labor force participation rate, which includes a ratio of the labor force, whether employed or unemployed of the working-age population above 15.

The second source includes the administrative data recorded and updated by government agencies related to the labor market, as these agencies are major sources of data of employees.

The Ministry of Human Resources and Social Development, the Human Resources Development Fund, the General Organization for Social Insurance, and the National Information Center provide the Authority with their recorded data periodically through an electronic platform.

These entities are the main source of data concerning state employees, workers in the private sector, and job seekers in the Kingdom.

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