The unemployment rate among Saudi Arabian citizens hit its lowest level since 2008 as the country’s economy grew rapidly thanks to rising oil revenues.
In the first quarter, the unemployment rate was 10.1%, down from 11% in the latter three months of 2017.
The rate reached 5.1 percent for male citizens and 20.2 percent for female citizens, according to data published Thursday by the Kingdom’s General Authority for Statistics.
The economy of the world’s largest crude exporter grew nearly 10 percent in the first quarter, buoyed by higher oil prices and production. The non-oil economy, the engine of job creation, expanded 3.7 percent.
Citizen unemployment peaked at over 15 percent at the height of the pandemic in mid-2020 and has since fallen almost every quarter.
Yet even in a booming job market, the labor participation rate for Saudi citizens fell by 1.4 percentage point from the fourth quarter to 50.1 percent in the first three months of this year.