Unemployment rate in Saudi Arabia slightly rises to 9.9 percent in Q3: GASTAT

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The unemployment rate in Saudi Arabia slightly rose to 9.9 percent in the third quarter of 2022 from 9.7 percent in the second quarter, the General Authority of Statistics (GASTAT) announced on Thursday.

The rise, however, was still a significant decline from last year’s Q3 unemployment rate which tallied at 11.3 percent at the time.

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The unemployment rate of the total population of Saudi Arabia also remained unchanged at 5.8 percent in Q3 of 2022.

Labor force participation among female Saudi citizens between the ages of 15 and 24 was also on the rise, the data showed. The rate rose from 48 percent in Q2 to 50.1 in Q3.

The labor force participation rate of Saudi citizens in general increased by 0.7 percent to a total of 52.5 percent, according to GASTAT. The employment-to-population ratio of Saudi citizens also rose to 47.5 percent.

According to GASTAT, 93.3 percent of unemployed Saudi citizens said they would accept employment in the private sector. The Kingdom has in the past seen its citizens prefer public sector jobs, but recent developments in non-oil sector jobs have provided more employment options to youth in the country.

The developments have largely been led by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who in 2016 unveiled the Kingdom’s ambitious Vision 2030 plan aimed at diversifying the country’s economy.

A key goal of Vision 2030 is to create jobs through the development of various sectors. For example, the expansion of the retail sector and the tourism sector are each expected to create one million jobs for Saudi nationals by 2030.

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