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SAMA: Rate of Unemployment Among Saudis Is 9.6 Percent - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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Riyadh, Asharq Al-Awsat – Economic statistics, which was published by the Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency (SAMA) in the past few days, contained detailed information about the work force in the country. Through a simple comparison between the growth rate of the work force in the two (public and private) sectors and the rates of Saudi male and female workers in both sectors, we find that the (SAMA) report indicates–according to the latest statistics released by the Civil Service Ministry–that the number of workers in the government sector at the end of 2004 totaled 763,300 workers, up by 2.2 percent over the previous year 2003). Meanwhile, the increase in the number of workers in the private sector has reached 16.8 percent, bringing the total number of workers in this sector to 5.9 million workers. This reflects the increasing opportunities provided by the private sector to young workers in the country.

The report indicates that the rate of unemployment among Saudis is 9.6 percent or around 304,000 unemployed males and females, including 101,000 unemployed females, who account for 21.7 percent of (the total number of female workers), which is the rate of unemployment among women.

The report also estimated the rate of unemployment among non-Saudis at 24,500 unemployed non-Saudi males and females at the end of 2002 (presumably 2004).

The economic date also revealed that Saudi workers reached 694,500 workers, accounting for around 91 percent of the total number of workers (at the end of 2004), up by 2.5 percent over the previous year ( 2003). Meanwhile, the number of non-Saudi workers in the government sector totaled 68,800 workers, down by 1 percent from the previous year.

However, the report, which was presented last Monday to King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz, custodian of the two holy mosques, stated that Saudis accounted for only 11.5 percent of the total number of workers in the private sector. This means that their number–according to figures released by the Labor Ministry–reached 700,000 Saudi workers at the end of 2004, up by 16.8 percent over the previous year. On the other hand, the number of non-Saudi workers in the private sector reached 5.3 million workers, up by 16.8 percent (over 2003), which is equal to the rate of increase in the number of Saudi workers in the private sector.

According to the official figures, the number of male Saudi workers in the public sector totaled 463,500 workers, compared to 231,000 female workers. The number of female Saudi workers in the public sector increased by 2.7 percent last year. This rate is slightly higher than the rate of growth in the number of male workers in this sector, which is 2.5 percent. On the other hand, the rate of non-Saudi workers in the public sector has dropped by around 1 percent.

Moreover, the number of Saudi male workers in the private sector reached around 660,000 workers at the end of 2004, up by 16.5 percent (over 2003). Meanwhile, the number of Saudi female workers in the private sector totaled only 30,000 workers, who account for 0.5 percent of the total number of workers in the private sector. Although this number ( 30,000) is small, it is growing at high rate, which reached 23.3 percent. On the other hand, the number of non-Saudi male workers in the private sector totaled 5.2 million workers. Also, the number of foreign female workers in the private sector totaled 100,000 workers, up by 17.8 percent. This means that the rate of growth in the number of female workers, including Saudis and foreigners, exceeds the rate of growth in the number of male workers.

The average monthly salary of Saudi workers in the government sector only was distributed according to the salary scale. For example, in the general salary scale of employees, the average minimum salary totaled 2,200 riyals, while the average highest salary (grade 15) totaled 17,900 riyals. On the other hand, in the salary scale of hired workers, which includes three grades, the average minimum salary totaled 1,400 riyals, while the average highest salary totaled 3,200 riyals.

Moreover, in the salary scale for educational jobs, which includes six grades, the average minimum salary totaled 6,200 riyals, while the average highest salary totaled 11,400 riyals. As for the salary scale of the judiciary, which includes 10 grades, the average minimum salary (grade of judicial lieutenant) totaled 7,800 riyals, while the average highest salary (court president) totaled 23,400 riyals.

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat is the world’s premier pan-Arab daily newspaper, printed simultaneously each day on four continents in 14 cities. Launched in London in 1978, Asharq Al-Awsat has established itself as the decisive publication on pan-Arab and international affairs, offering its readers in-depth analysis and exclusive editorials, as well as the most comprehensive coverage of the entire Arab world.

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