Saudi Arabia Sees Unemployment Rate Drop to 4.9% in Q2, Driven by Vision 2030 Initiatives

Riyadh, September 28, 2023 – Saudi Arabia’s relentless pursuit of Vision 2030 goals has begun to yield promising results, with the nation’s overall unemployment rate declining to 4.9 percent in the second quarter of this year. This marks a significant reduction of 0.2 percentage points compared to the previous quarter, according to official data released by the General Authority for Statistics (GASTAT).

The report from GASTAT also highlights that the joblessness rate among Saudi nationals dropped to 8.3 percent in the second quarter, representing a decrease of 0.2 percentage points compared to the first quarter of this year. Furthermore, when compared to the same period in 2022, the overall unemployment rate in the Kingdom saw a substantial decrease of 1.4 percentage points.

In addition to the unemployment figures, the GASTAT data reveals that Saudi Arabia’s employment-to-population ratio slightly decreased by 0.6 percentage points in the second quarter, reaching 47.4 percent compared to the previous quarter.

Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030, an ambitious long-term development plan, has set specific targets to combat unemployment, aiming to reduce the joblessness rate to 7 percent by the end of the decade. The plan also envisions a substantial increase in women’s participation in the workforce, targeting a rate of 30 percent.

According to the GASTAT report, the unemployment rate among Saudi females declined to 15.7 percent, marking a decrease of 0.4 percentage points from the previous quarter. Meanwhile, the unemployment rate among Saudi males remained stable at 4.6 percent in the second quarter.

The report highlights that a significant 95.3 percent of unemployed Saudis are open to job opportunities in the private sector, indicating a willingness to explore diverse career options.

Regarding commuting preferences, the GASTAT survey uncovered interesting insights. Approximately 58.9 percent of Saudi females without jobs and 44.9 percent of unemployed Saudi males are willing to commute for a maximum of one hour for work. Furthermore, 75 percent of jobless Saudi females and 90 percent of Saudi males expressed their readiness to work for eight hours or more each day.

When it comes to job-seeking methods, the report indicates that 85.6 percent of Saudi job seekers seek assistance from friends and relatives. Additionally, 70.9 percent apply directly to employers, while 61.3 percent utilize the National Employment Platform, known as Jadarat.

In related news, Minister of Culture Prince Badr bin Abdullah announced a successful cooperation agreement between the Ministry of Culture and the Human Resources Development Fund. This agreement has significantly increased employment support in the cultural sector from 30 percent to 50 percent.

Prince Badr explained, “This initiative was introduced, in cooperation between the Ministry of Culture and the Human Resources Development Fund under the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Development, to enhance professional sustainability in the cultural sectors.” He emphasized that the supported cultural professions span a wide range of jobs, including language, books, publishing, libraries, fashion arts, theatre, and performing arts.

Saudi Arabia’s dedication to economic growth and job creation, as outlined in Vision 2030, continues to drive positive change and contribute to the nation’s overall prosperity.

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