The General Authority for Statistics (GASTAT) in Saudi Arabia has released the fourth quarterly labor market bulletin of 2019 through its official website on April 13. The press release features estimates based on statistics from the Ministry of HR and Social Development, GOSI (General Organization for Social Insurance), the HR Development Fund and the National Information Center.
According to the results of the final quarter of 2019, unemployment in Saudi Arabia has dipped 0.4% in comparison with the fourth quarter of the previous year, amounting to 5.7% unemployment among Saudis 15 years or older. The report also revealed that the percentage of participation in the workforce in the same group amounts to 58.8%, a 2.9% increase. Both results indicate an increase in employment.
Saudi workforce results indicate a 12% unemployment rate, a stable number compared to the third quarter of 2019, and a 9% dip from 2018 numbers. Among men, unemployment is currently at 4.9%, and 30.8% among women. Further reading into the newly-released stats reveals that unemployment is centered within the age group 20-29 at a staggering 64.1% and that about half of the unemployed Saudis (56.4%) have collected a bachelor’s degree or higher, 27.7% of whom have specialized in human sciences. Those Saudis who are unemployed, 84.5% of the men among them, and 97.9% of the women have never been employed.
The bulletin also revealed a 1.1% increase in national workforce participation in comparison to the previous quarter, amounting to 46.7%. A 0.4% dip among men results in an overall 66.6% participation. However, the overall increase is a result of the rise in women’s workforce entries, a 2.8% rise accounting for a 26% quarter 4 overall number for women in 2019.
GASTAT has also noted that these numbers relied on two sources; the Authority performs surveys among families through social statistics. These surveys are conducted by visiting key samples that are representative of various executive areas in the Kingdom. An electronic survey is also conducted including a number of questions regarding employment among Saudis above the age of 15, including both those who are economically and those who are inactive, among other important and relevant employment details.
The second source is the documented data collected through registrations in various government authorities such as GOSI, the HR Development Fund and the Ministry of HR and Social Development. These authorities automate their data into GSTAT’s database, providing valuable stats for those working within the private sector and job seekers in Saudi Arabia.