On Monday 20/8/1441, corresponding April 13, 2020, GASTAT released the “Labour Market Statistics for Q4 of 2019” on its official website www.stats.gov.sa . It is based on the estimates of the labour force survey which is conducted by GASTAT on a quarterly basis as well as the labour market’s data from the administrative records of relevant entities: (Ministry of Human Resources and Social Development, Human Resources Development Fund, National Information Center, and General Organization for Social Insurance).
Based on the estimates of the Labour Force Survey for Q4 of 2019, the unemployment rate for total population (15+) reached 5.7%, achieving a decrease of -0.4 percentage points, compared to Q4 of 2018. On the other hand, the rate of participation in the labour force for total population (15+) was 58.8%, recording an increase of 2.9 percentage points, compared to Q4 of 2018. The decrease in the unemployment rate and the increase in the labour force participation rate is due to the increase in the number of workers in the Survey.
Regarding the Saudi Arabia’s labour force indicators for Q4 of 2019 compared to the previous quarter of the same year, the unemployment rate decreased from 12.9% in Q2 of 2018 to 12.0% in Q3 of 2019, and settled at this level in Q4 of 2019. The unemployment rate of Saudi males reached 4.9%, a decrease of -0.8 percentage points, compared to Q3 of 2019, whereas the unemployment rate among Saudi females remained unchanged at 30.8%.
Results indicated that 64.1% of unemployed Saudis aged (20-29). About half of the unemployed Saudis with a percentage of (56.4%) hold a Bachelor's degree. The majors of 27.7% of the unemployed Saudis who hold a diploma and higher are humanities. However, 84.5% of Saudi males and 97.9% of unemployed Saudi females have never worked before.
The results also showed that the rate of participation in the labour force for Saudis reached 46.7% in Q4 of 2019, with an increase of 1.1 percentage points, compared to the previous quarter. The rate of participation in the labour force for Saudi males reached 66.6% in Q4 of 2019, achieving a decrease of -0.4, compared to the previous quarter. The reason for the high rate of participation in the labour force for all Saudis is the increase in the rate of Saudi females’ participation in the labour force by 2.8, which reached 26.0% in Q4 of 2019.
GASTAT indicated that the Labour Market Statistics depends on two main sources for its data. Firstly, a household field survey conducted by GASTAT which falls under the category of (Social Statistics). In this survey, data are collected by visiting a representative sample of households spread out across all administrative regions in Saudi Arabia. In addition, an electronic questionnaire containing multiple questions is completed, through which estimates and indicators are provided regarding the labour force of the working age population for the age group (15+) who reside in Saudi Arabia. Through such questionnaire, an estimate of economically active and inactive population (inside and outside the labour force) along with the most important indicators of labour market, such as: unemployment rates, labour force participation rate, employment rates, etc can be obtained as well. The second data source is the data and information recorded and updated in government entities related to the labour market which result from official and electronic registration and documentation procedures carried out by such entities. Where the Ministry of Labor and Social Development, Ministry of Civil Service (currently the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Development), Human Resources Development Fund, General Organization for Social Insurance, and National Information Center provide GASTAT with the register-based data through electronic linking periodically. These entities are considered a major source for data of those working in government sector, private sector as well as job seekers in Saudi Arabia.