Saudi Arabia’s unemployment drops to under 12 percent in Q1, women join workforce

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Unemployment among Saudi Arabian citizens fell to below 12 percent to 11.8 percent in the first quarter of the year, the Kingdom’s General Authority for Statistics said.

The drop in the unemployment rate is largely due to women’s increased participation, the authority added.

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In the first quarter, the female unemployment rate of Saudi Arabian citizens dropped by 2.7 percent to 28.2 percent from the last quarter in 2019.

Saudi Arabia’s youth constitute the highest proportion of the unemployed, with citizens between the ages of 20-29 making up 62.9 percent.

However, the numbers do not take into account the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, the authority said.

The drop comes as Saudi Arabia pursues its Vision 2030 plan to diversify the economy and create millions of jobs for citizens in the next ten years.

The reform plan, proposed by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, aims to decrease the unemployment rate to 7 percent by 2030.

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