Riyad March 31 2023: Based on the estimates of the General Authority for Statistics’ Labor Force Survey, the overall unemployment rate in Saudi Arabia (for Saudis and non-Saudis) was 4.8% in Q4/2022, decreased from last quarter by 1.0 percentage points (pp) and from a year ago by 2.1 pp.
The unemployment rate of Saudis reached 8.0% in Q4/2022, a significant decrease of 1.9 pp compared to Q3/2022.
The Labour force participation rate of Saudis remained unchanged at 52.5%, and the employment-to-population ratio of Saudis increased by 1.0 pp to 48.3%. Compared to one year ago, key Labor market indicators for Saudis improved, with rises in both the participation rate (up 1.0 pp) and the employment-to-population ratio (up 2.5 pp). In contrast, the unemployment rate declined (down 3.0 pp).
Among Saudi females, in Q4/2022, the unemployment rate decreased by 15.4%, down 5.1 pp from the last quarter and 7.1 pp from a year ago.
The impressive decrease in the unemployment rate resulted from a double effect of the decrease in Labor force participation and, at the same time, employment growth. The participation rate decreased by 1.0 pp to 36.0%, while the employment-to-population ratio rose by 1.0 pp, reaching 30.4%. Among Saudi males, in Q4/2022, the unemployment rate fell to 4.2%, down 0.1 pp from the last quarter and down to 1.0 pp compared to a year ago.
The Labor force participation rate and the employment-to-population ratio of Saudi males increased respectively by 1.2 pp and 1.1 pp to 65.7% and 68.5%.
In Q4/2022, among Saudi female youth (15-24 years), both labour force participation and the employment-to-population ratio declined, reducing the unemployment rate. The participation rate decreased by 1.0 pp to 19.2%, the employment-to-population ratio decreased by 0.4 pp to 14.2%, and the unemployment rate fell by 1.9 pp to 26.0%. Among Saudi male youth, the unemployment rate increased, accompanied by increased labour market participation and employment stagnation. The participation rate rose by 0.7 pp to 38.3%, the employment-to-population ratio stabilized at 33.5%, and the unemployment rate rose by 1.6 pp to 12.5%.
Among the Saudi core working-age population (aged 25-54), Q4/2022 saw a decrease in the unemployment rate by 2.5 pp to 7.0%. The reduction in the unemployment rate was driven by employment growth, with the employment-to-population ratio rising by 1.6 pp to 64.1%, While the labour force participation rate for Saudis decreased by 0.1 pp, reaching 68.9%.
The decrease in the unemployment rate for the Saudi core working-age population (aged 25-54) was mainly driven by a significant drop in the unemployment rate for females, down 5.8 pp from 20.4% in Q3 2022 to 14.6% in Q4 2022.
For Saudis aged 55 years and over, Labor market indicators showed a minor change in Q4 of 2022 compared to the previous quarter.
Saudi job seekers used various active job search methods, with an average of 4.4 active methods per job seeker. In Q4/2022, the most frequently used active job search methods were: asking friends or relatives (used by 80.4% of job seekers), applying directly to employers (65.4%), and using the National employment platform (including Jadarah, TAQAT and Saad) used by 56.5% of job seekers.
Results of the survey showed that 57.8% of unemployed Saudi females and 43.6% of unemployed Saudi males would accept a maximum commuting time to work of one hour. Similarly, 73.0% of unemployed Saudi females and 89.1% of unemployed Saudi males indicated that they would accept work for eight hours or more per day. 94.1% of unemployed Saudis would accept employment in the private sector