Saudi trading
A Saudi employee at work inside the traders room at the Saudi Investment Bank in Riyadh. Image Credit: AFP file

Dubai: The unemployment rate among Saudis dropped significantly to 8 per cent during the fourth quarter of 2022, down from 9.9 per cent in the third quarter, Saudi General Authority for Statistics (GASTAT) has reported.

This marks the lowest unemployment rate since 1999, reflecting the impact of government initiatives, Saudization programmes, and the private sector’s role in job creation.

According to GASTAT, the overall unemployment rate in the Kingdom also decreased, reaching 4.8 per cent compared to the third quarter of 2022. This decline is credited to the efforts of both the government and the private sectors, despite the economic challenges faced by many countries, including the G20 nations, due to geopolitical factors.

The record-low unemployment rates are a result of the plans and initiatives under the Kingdom’s Vision 2030, legislative reforms, and the launch of promising sectors. The GASTAT report revealed a significant drop in unemployment rates for both Saudi men and women, with women’s unemployment reaching 15.4 per cent compared to 20.5 per cent in the previous quarter and men’s unemployment de-creasing to 4.2 per cent from 4.3 per cent.

These positive results coincide with the Saudi economy recording its highest growth in gross domestic product (GDP) at 8.7 per cent, the highest growth rate among the G20 countries.

GASTAT highlights that the high participation rate in the labor force for Saudis confirms the attractiveness of the labour market and its role in employing and absorbing the Saudi workforce, with the number of Saudi workers registered in the social insurance system reaching a record 2.2 million.