Unemployment rate in Saudi Arabia stabilizes at 3.5 pct in Q1 of 2024: GASTAT

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The unemployment rate in Saudi Arabia stabilized at 3.5 percent in the first quarter of 2024, the Saudi General Authority for Statistics (GASTAT) said.

This marked a slight increase of 0.1 percent compared to the fourth quarter of 2023, and a yearly decrease of 0.8 percent compared to the first quarter of 2023, according to GASTAT.

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The unemployment rate of Saudi nationals decreased to 7.6 percent in Q1 of 2024; the rate is only a 0.2 percent decrease compared to the Q4 of 2023 and a 1.1 percent drop when compared to the unemployment rate in Q1 of 2023.

Compared to 7.8 percent in the fourth quarter of 2023, the unemployment rate increased slightly for Saudi women in the first quarter of 2024, reaching 14.2 percent compared to 13.9 percent in the previous quarter.

The unemployment rate for Saudi males decreased in the first quarter of 2024 to 4.2 percent, compared to 4.6 percent in the previous quarter.

When it comes to female Saudi citizens aged 15 to 24, 0.3 percent increase in the employment-to-population ratio was recorded, reaching 13.5 percent.

Additionally, there was a 0.7 percent increase in their labor force participation rate, reaching 17.6 percent.

However, the unemployment rate for that population group increased by 0.9 percentage points to reach 23 percent.

On the other hand, there has been a 1.9 percent increase in the employment-to-population ratio of male Saudi youth (aged 15 to 25), reaching 30.3 percent and a 1.3 percent increase in their labor force participation rate, reaching 34.3 percent.

Moreover, the GASTAT report revealed that 95.5 percent of unemployed Saudis were willing to accept job offers in the private sector. In the past, Saudi Arabia has seen its citizens heavily prefer public sector jobs. However, due to the economic reforms put forth by Vision 2030 and recent developments in non-oil sector jobs, new employment opportunities have made the private sector much more appealing.

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