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Unemployment rate among Saudis climbs to 8.6%

Employment growth in Saudi Arabia's non-oil private sector eased further after hitting a nine-year record in October Reuters/Ahmed Yosri
Employment growth in Saudi Arabia's non-oil private sector eased further after hitting a nine-year record in October

The unemployment rate among Saudi citizens rose marginally to 8.6 percent in the third quarter of 2023 from 8.3 percent in the previous quarter, according to data from the General Authority for Statistics.

The rate was down from 9.9 percent in the third quarter of 2022.

The overall unemployment rate, including Saudis and non-Saudis, reached 5.1 percent in the quarter ended September 30, 2023, from 4.9 percent in Q2 2023.

Unemployment among Saudis aged 15 to 24 reached 13.6 percent for males and 25.3 percent for females.

Unemployment for Saudis between 24 and 54 rose marginally to 7.9 percent in the third quarter of the current year from 7.5 percent in the previous quarter.

The kingdom’s overall labour market participation rate fell to 51.6 percent in Q3 2023 from 52.5 percent in Q3 2022.

Unemployment for Saudi women increased to 16.3 percent in Q3 2023, up from 15.7 percent in Q2 2023 but lower than 20.5 percent a year ago.

Earlier this month, Saudi Arabia approved its 2024 budget, which forecasts a deficit of SAR79 billion ($21.1 billion), accounting for 1.9 percent of the country’s gross domestic product.

Capital expenditure is forecast at SAR189 billion, or 15 percent of total spending next year. The budget allocated SAR195 billion for education, SAR214 billion for healthcare and social development, as well as SAR269 for defence.

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