Saudi Arabia unemployment edges down

A Saudi vendor waits for customers at a mobile shop in Riyadh, pictured on March 21, 2016. (Reuters)
Updated 27 January 2019

Saudi Arabia unemployment edges down

  •  The General Authority for Statistics publishes its Labor Force Survey on a quarterly basis
  • The unemployment rate for Saudi females decreased to 30.9 percent

JEDDAH: Unemployment among Saudi Arabian citizens eased marginally to 12.8 percent in the third quarter of 2018, official figures released on Sunday showed.
The jobless rate first hit 12.9 percent, the highest level recorded by the statistics agency in data going back to 1999, in the first quarter of 2018 as private employers were hit by a new sales tax and a domestic fuel price hike.

 

 The General Authority for Statistics publishes its Labor Force Survey on a quarterly basis, based on administrative records with relevant authorities including the Ministry of Labor and Social Development, Ministry of Civil Service, General Organization for Social Insurance, Human Resources Development Fund and National Information Center.
The unemployment rate for Saudi females decreased to 30.9 percent compared with 31.1 percent in the second quarter of 2018, and for Saudi males it decreased to 7.5 percent compared to 7.6 percent in the second quarter.
The survey also showed a decrease in the number of non-Saudi male employees from the Kingdom’s administrative records, standing at 8,622,890 against 8,927,862 in the previous quarter. The number of non-Saudi female workers increased by 9,696 to reach 964,861.

FASTFACTS

12.8% — Unemployment rate in the third quarter of 2018


China central bank to maintain prudent policy to prevent inflation from spreading

Updated 3 sec ago

China central bank to maintain prudent policy to prevent inflation from spreading

BEIJING: China’s central bank said on Saturday it will maintain prudent monetary policy to prevent inflation from spreading.

In its third quarter monetary policy report, the People’s Bank of China (PBoC) also said it was studying plans to switch the benchmark rate for existing loans to the new loan prime rate (LPR).

China’s economic growth for the third quarter tumbled to its slowest pace in nearly three decades, under pressure from slowing global demand and the ongoing trade war between China and the US.

At the same time, China’s consumer inflation has quickened to a near eight-year high of 3.8 percent, driven in part by soaring pork prices as a result of an outbreak of African Swine Fever in the country, posing a dilemma for the central bank.

“The PBoC is increasingly concerned about rising CPI inflation and inflation expectations,” economists at Nomura said in a note, saying those risks may incline policymakers to lower profile-easing measures in the near term.

The PBoC had unexpectedly made a 200 billion yuan ($28.60 billion) liquidity injection earlier in the day.

Despite the higher inflation rates the central bank is expected to lower the LPR next Wednesday, for the third time since it was introduced in August.

The introduction of the LPR — a lending benchmark for new bank loans to households and businesses — is part of a broader packet of reforms the central bank is exploring to reduce corporate borrowing costs in the world’s second-largest economy.

In Saturday’s report, the PBoC reiterated that it would continue to significantly lower real interest rates through reforms.

It said the weighted average lending rate fell 4 basis points in the third quarter to 5.62 percent.

China's central bank also said that it would strengthen counter-cyclical adjustments in light of the rising downward pressure on the economy.