01 February 2016
Saudi Arabia is one of the fastest growing nations in the world in terms of population growth. Saudi Arabia population grew four-fold from 7.3 million in 1975 to almost 30 million in 2013. Foreigners account for 9.7 million (General Authority of Statistics, 2013).
The Saudi Ministry of Labor (MOL) effort in recent years to support job creation and reduce Saudi unemployment has had a slight impact on the overall unemployment.
In accordance with the General Authority of Statistics (Labor Force Survey 2015), the unemployment rate among Saudis nationals for the 1st half of 2015 stood at 11.6% with unemployed nationals reaching to 646,854 and the 2nd half of 2015 at 11.5% with 647,010 unemployed.
Figure 1 shows Saudi women unemployment rate is 33.8% with 416,432 unemployed. Saudi male unemployment rate is 5.3% with 230,578 unemployed. Table 1 shows a slight decrease in the unemployment rates with an average of 11.8% unemployment rate from 2011 until 2015. Saudi women high unemployment rates will continue to pose a long-term challenge in the coming years.
Saudi Arabia has consistently recorded a high unemployment rate in recent years, with unemployment remaining above 11% between 2011 and 2015. However, although there has been a small increment in the total number of unemployed persons, the unemployment rate has reduced as the overall size of the labor force has increased at a higher rate.
The Saudi government approach to job creation requires smart investments in the right sectors that will generate growth and jobs. Most importantly they should look at ways to streamline the current educational system to a knowledge & skill base to cater for a competitive & productive national workforce in the public & private sectors.
Disclaimer: The views set out in this article do not constitute legal advice and readers are urged to seek specific advice in relation to any particular issues from this article.
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