Employment rate in Saudi Arabia will likely grow in 2021, spurred by the potential acceleration in economic recovery and rise in the number of people receiving the COVID-19 vaccine, Jadwa Investment said in a recent report.
"We expect to see an improvement in the Saudi unemployment rate during Q4 2020, in line with a pick-up in a number of economic indicators during the quarter. In addition, we expect the pace of job substitution in favor of Saudis to continue, with employment in wholesale and retail and accommodation and food services continuing to see rises in Saudi numbers," the research firm said.
It added that the employment trend for Saudis during Q3 2020 was a direct result of measures implemented by the employment support program and SANED scheme.
The labor market in the third quarter was also positively affected by the lifting of most lockdown restrictions during the period, which, in turn, helped create jobs for locals in sectors that suffered during Q2.
"In our view, the non-utilization of expat work visas is likely due to the rising number of Saudi being employed in some jobs that were previously filled by expats," Jadwa said.
It added that seasonal employment opportunities are expected to continue growing during the year, in line with tourism and entertainment activities being rolled-out, which should also support overall Saudi employment.
According to data compiled by Argaam, the unemployment rate among Saudis decreased to 14.9% in Q3 2020 from 15.4 percent in Q2 2020, compared to 11.8 percent in Q1 2020. In addition, the unemployment rate among males and females stood at 7.9 percent and 30.2 percent, respectively, in the same period, according to data from the Saudi General Authority for Statistics.