Summary of the Main Changes in the Labor Market
in Q4 – 2017
This report condenses the most important changes in the labor market statistics released by the General Authority for Statistics (GaStat) for the fourth quarter of 2017 (October - December). The report’s main findings can be summarized in the following points:
- To achieve the goal of reducing the unemployment rate to 9%, according to the national transformation program 2020, we need to increase the number of employees by 161,000 annually till 2020.
- Whereas the number of Saudis joined the workforce increased by 212,193 workers, while the number of employed Saudis has only increased by 100,102.
- In the private sector, the total number of foreign workers decreased in 2017 by half a million, 50% of them in the 4th quarter; while the number of Saudi workers increased by around 122,000 in 2017, 75% of which were in the 4th quarter.
- The wholesale and retail sector was the most appealing for Saudi workers. About 52 thousand workers joined the sector in 2017 (38 thousand in the 4th quarter alone), 60% of whom were females.
- 80% of unemployed Saudi females have at least a Bachelor degree or higher.
- 60% of unemployed Saudi males hold a high school degree or lower.
- 70% of unemployed Saudis are less than 30 years old.
- 47% of unemployed Saudi females are looking for jobs in the public sector.
- 90% of unemployed Saudis have no previous work experience.
- The Eastern region achieved a remarkable improvement in the unemployment rate, where the rate decreased in 2017 from 11.4% to 6.1%.