The rate of unemployment among citizens in Saudi Arabia dropped to 12.6 percent from 14.9 percent in the fourth quarter of 2020, the Kingdom’s General Authority for Statistics (GASTAT) announced on Wednesday.
The unemployment rate among male Saudi Arabian citizens decreased to 7.1 percent in the fourth quarter of last year, compared to 7.9 percent in the previous quarter, according to the GASTAT.
For female Saudi Arabian citizens, the rate of employment dropped from 30.2 percent to 24.4 percent in the last quarter of 2020, the authority said.
The labor force participation of all Saudi Arabian citizens increased to 51.2 percent in quarter four. In the previous quarter, that percentage stood at 49 percent.
The labor force participation rate among Saudi Arabian males increased to 68.5 percent, while the rate among Saudi Arabian females increased to 33.2 percent, the GASTAT said.
Citizens and non-citizens
Meanwhile, the unemployment rate of the total population, which includes citizens and non-citizens, decreased to 7.4 percent in the fourth quarter of 2020, compared to 8.5 percent during the third quarter of the same year.
The unemployment rate of the total male population in Saudi Arabia decreased in the final quarter of 2020 to 4 percent compared to 4.4 percent in the third quarter of the same year.
For the total female population, the unemployment rate also decreased from 24.6 percent in the third quarter of 2020 to 20.2 percent in the fourth quarter.
Women join the workforce
In August 2020, the GASTAT published a report indicating Saudi Arabia’s youth unemployment rate dropped significantly over the past four years as more women between the ages of 15 and 34 joined the workforce.
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 more job opportunities for both its male and female citizens and reduce unemployment to 7 percent as part of its Vision 2030 reform plan.
“Our economy will provide opportunities for everyone – men and women, young and old – so they may contribute to the best of their abilities,” the government said on its Vision 2030 website.