The unemployment rate among Saudi citizens fell to its lowest in more than three years, according to official data published by the General Authority for Statistics.
The jobless rate in the kingdom fell to 12 per cent in the third quarter, down from 12.3 per cent in the previous quarter and below a record high of 12.9 per cent in 2018.
The latest report shows the annual rate of job losses in the private sector is slowing, both for Saudis and foreigners.
Unemployment dropped for both men and women, with more citizens working in both private and government sectors jobs.
Economic participation among Saudis rose to 45.5 per cent in the third quarter, compared to 40 per cent in the previous quarter, the report said. The economic participation of Saudi women remained constant at 23.2 per cent.
Jobless rates among Saudi men grew 5.8 per cent quarter-on-quarter and 30.8 per cent among Saudi women, according to the data.
More Saudi women are seeking jobs as the kingdom lifted social restrictions, including a ban on female driving, to encourage more female economic participation.
Saudi Arabia’s economy is forecast to expand 2.3 per cent in 2020, after a projected 0.4 per cent growth in 2019, propelled by non-oil growth, according to government estimates.
Non-oil revenue is projected to grow to 320 billion riyals next year, up from 315bn riyals this year, according to the government’s budget announcement.