Saudi unemployment rate falls to 12.3 percent in Q2 2019

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The unemployment rate for Saudi Arabian citizens fell to 12.3 percent in the second quarter of 2019, from 12.5 percent in first quarter 2019, according to data released by the Saudi General Authority for Statistics.

Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 program called for increased levels of Saudization, or greater hiring of Saudi citizens, to help nurture domestic growth and economic diversification.

“The decline in unemployment is modest, but this is the fourth successive quarterly decline in Saudi unemployment, which suggests things are heading in the right direction. Government spending has picked up, and that’s filtering through to domestic demand,” James Reeve, Group Chief Economist, of Samba Financial Group told Al Arabiya English.

“We expect this trend to continue and in the medium term unemployment should fall more significantly as foreign investment inflows gather pace,” Reeve added.

Overall unemployment in the Kingdom also fell to 5.6 percent, from 5.7 percent in Q1 2019. Meanwhile, the unemployment rate among Saudi women edged up to 68.9 percent in Q2 2019, from 68.3 percent in Q1 2019, data showed.

Saudi economic particpation, a measure of adult Saudi citizens that are members of the labor force, increased to 45 percent in Q2 2019, up from 42.3 percent in the previous quarter.

The data covers Saudi citizens 15 years old and over.

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