RIYADH: The unemployment rate for Saudis decreased to 9.7 percent in the second quarter of 2022 fueled by government reforms directed at the labor market, according to data released by the General Authority for Statistics.
Additionally, the rate has dropped 0.4 percentage points compared to the first quarter of 2022.
This comes as the labor force participation rate of Saudis increased by 1.7 percentage points to reach 51.8 percent, and the employment-to-population ratio of Saudis increased by 1.7 percentage points, reaching 46.8 percent compared to the last year, the GASTAT report added.
The unemployment rate among Saudi males fell to reach 4.7 percent, dropping down by 0.3 percentage points from the first quarter of 2022.
“The decrease in the unemployment rate of Saudi males this quarter coincided with both an expansion of labor market participation and employment growth, where the participation rate went up by 1.5 percentage points to 67.5 percent and the employment-to-population ratio increased by 1.6 percentage points reaching 64.3 percent,” GASTAT said in the report.
Similarly, Saudi female unemployment inched lower by 0.9 percentage points from the first quarter to 19.3 percent in the second quarter of 2022.
“The decrease in the unemployment rate was accompanied by an expansion of labour force participation and growth in employment, “the report added.
Moreover, the participation rate among women went up by 1.9 percentage points to 35.6 percent, and the employment-to-population ratio increased by 1.9 percentage point to 28.7 percent.
In the second quarter of 2022, the unemployment rate of Saudi Arabia’s total population was recorded at 5.8 percent, a drop of 0.2 percentage points compared to the first quarter of 2021, and down 0.8 percentage points compared to the second quarter of 2021.
One of the prominent factors driving unemployment levels downwards is the Kingdom’s attractive private sector, which has been encouraging more individuals to join the labor force.
According to GASTAT, some 93.8 percent of unemployed Saudis would be willing to work in the private sector.
Looking closer at males and females between the ages of 25 and 54 years, the unemployment rate decreased by 1 percentage point, reaching 9 percent by the end of June 2022.
This age group also showed an increased level of participation registering 67.7 percent over the same period, up 0.9 percentage points from the last quarter.
Among younger Saudi citizens — age range 15-to-24 — the unemployment rate increased by 2.5 percentage points to 17.6 percent during this time, due to a 3.5 percentage points increase in labor force participation to 29.2 percent.
The report also shed light on the methods used by job seekers in the Kingdom.
The statistics showed that four methods stood out when searching for employment, with 75.3 percent asking friends or family , 56 applying directly to employers, 47.6 percent using online platforms such as TAQAT, and 50.7 percent checking newspaper and magazine advertisements.