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Saudi unemployment decreases marginally to 11.3 pct in second quarter

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The unemployment rate of the total working age population (Saudis and non- Saudis aged 15 years and above) decreased to 6.6 percent in the second quarter of 2021, compared to 9 percent during the second quarter of 2020, as per latest Labor Force Survey in Saudi Arabia.

Moreover, the total unemployment rate among Saudi nationals (males and females 15 years and above), decreased to 11.3 percent in the second quarter of 2021, compared to 11.7 percent during the first quarter of 2021, reaching the lowest level during the last 10 years.

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These latest figures were revealed by the General Authority for Statistics (GASTAT) when it released on Thursday the “Labor market statistics Q2, 2021”, according to Saudi Press Agency (SPA).

Two main sources

The labor market statistics are based on two main sources. The first source is the Labor Force Survey (LFS), a sample household survey that is conducted by GASTAT. Information is collected by calling an updated sample of households over the phone. The survey provides estimates of the population inside and outside the labor force. It also provides the most important indicators of the labor market, such as the unemployment rate and the labor force participation rate.

The second source is administrative data from the Ministry of Human Resource and Social Development, National Information Center, General Organization for Social Insurance, among others.

The unemployment rate of Saudi males decreased to 6.1 percent in the second quarter of 2021, compared to 7.2 percent in the first quarter of 2021, while the unemployment rate of Saudi females was 22.3 percent during the second quarter of 2021.

The results of the survey also showed that the labor force participation rate of the total working age population (Saudis and non-Saudis aged 15 years and above) reached 60.8 percent during the second quarter of 2021, compared to 61.1 percent in the first quarter of 2021.

Furthermore, the results indicated that the labor force participation rate of the total male working age population in the second quarter of 2021 reached 79.2 percent.

The labor force participation rate of the total female working age population increased during the second quarter of 2021 to reach 33.8 percent, compared to 33.6 percent in the first quarter of 2021.

Saudi Arabia has been pushing through economic reforms since 2016 to create millions of jobs and aims to reduce unemployment to 7 percent by 2030, but those plans were disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic that sent oil prices plummeting, according to Reuters.

Ratings agency S&P Globl Ratings said this week it expects growth to average 2.4 percent between 2021 and 2024.

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