Saudi unemployment rate falls 5.8 percent in Q3 of 2017

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RIYADH – The overall unemployment rate has fallen 5.8 percent in the Kingdom in the third quarter of 2017 compared with the second quarter, according to a report of the General Authority of Statistics.

Saudi Arabia stands 12th among G20 nations in terms of the average fall in the rate of unemployment during the third quarter. The report indicates that the unemployment rate among Saudis showed signs of stability at 12.8 percent despite an increase in the number of new jobseekers.


The overall unemployment rate among women also fell to 21.1 percent in the third quarter compared with the previous quarter when it stood at 22.9 percent. This shows positive signs of reforms endorsed by the Council of Economic and Development Affairs (CEDA) to empower women and extend support to them to take up jobs.

Degree holders

There were 1,231,549 Saudi jobseekers during the period. These included 190,822 men and 1,040,727 women. The largest number of jobseekers belonged to the age group of 25-29, with a percentage of 31.3. About 45.8 percent of jobseekers were holders of university degrees.

According to the report, young men and women make up around 36.7 percent of Saudi population. It showed that around 54.8 percent of the population is involved in economic activities, of these 78.4 percent are men and 19.9 percent women.

A total of 509,180 visas were issued during Q3 of 2017. The government sector issued 22.3 percent visas and the private sector 39.9 percent. Some 37.8 percent visas were issued to recruit domestic workers, the report noted.

This article was first published in the Saudi Gazette on January 2, 2018.

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