Saudi Arabia’s youth unemployment rate drops as more young women join workforce

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Saudi Arabia’s youth unemployment rate dropped significantly over the past four years as more women between the ages of 15 and 34 have joined the workforce, according to a new report published by the Kingdom’s General Authority for Statistics (GASTAT) on Sunday.

The “Saudi youth in numbers” report comes ahead of the International Youth Day, which will be marked on August 12, the GASTAT report said.


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The female unemployment rate in the Kingdom decreased by 13.9 percent in the last four years, largely due to more jobs becoming readily available for women as well as the rise of literacy rates.

The Kingdom aims to provide jobs for around 1 million Saudi Arabian women in the next decade as part of its Vision 2030 reform plan, Mishaal al-Balawi, an official at the Permanent Mission of Saudi Arabia to the United Nations in Geneva, said in July.

“The Saudi Vision 2030 and the National Transformation Program 2020 have put women empowerment among their most important priorities,” al-Balawi said.

Vision 2030, a reform plan presented by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, aims to diversify the country’s economy and includes increasing women’s labor force participation.

The female youth illiteracy rate dropped to 0.6 percent in 2017 from 5.9 percent in 2007 in the Kingdom, according to the GASTAT report.

The unemployment rate for both young men and women in the Kingdom decreased by 11.5 percent since 2016.

Meanwhile, the rate of unemployment for males dropped by 11.6 percent during the past four years.

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