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

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Saudi Arabia’s unemployment rate dropped by four percent in Q4 of 2022, mainly driven by the large influx of Saudi women joining the workforce, the General Authority for Statistics (GASTAT) in the Kingdom reported on Thursday.

The total unemployment rate among Saudi citizens decreased to 8 percent in Q4 of 2022, down from 9.9 percent the previous quarter.

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The unemployment rate of Saudi women dropped from 20.5 percent in quarter three to 15.4 percent in quarter four, according to GASTAT.

The data shows a 5.1 percent drop from the previous quarter and a 7.1 percent fall from a year ago.

Under the Vision 2030 economic reform plan, Saudi Arabia has made it its mission to decrease the female unemployment rate to 7 percent by 2030 by creating one million jobs for women in the coming years.

The Kingdom hopes to drive the female labor force participation rate to over 30 percent by 2030.

Meanwhile, the unemployment rate of Saudi men dropped from 4.3 percent in the previous quarter to 4.2 percent.

The labor force participation rate of Saudi citizens in general remained stable at 52.5 percent, according to GASTAT, while the employment-to-population ratio of Saudi citizens rose to 48.3 percent.

According to the data, 94.1 percent of unemployed Saudis would accept employment in the private sector. Saudi Arabia has in the past seen its citizens heavily prefer public sector jobs, but recent developments in non-oil sector jobs have provided an array of new employment opportunities.

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