Dubai unemployment rate still lowest globally

Dubai economy continues to present the lowest rates of unemployment in the world

The unemployment rate in Dubai remained the lowest globally at 0.5 per cent last year with the jobless rate staying high among Emiratis compared to expats, according to official data released on Saturday.

The survey also showed that the economic participation rate as a percentage of total working-age population reached 83.2 per cent in Dubai last year.

“The unemployment rate of Emirati males increased by 0.7 percentage points between 2016 and 2018, rising from 2 per cent in 2016 to 2.6 per cent in 2017, and 2.7 per cent in 2018 while that of Emirati females increased by double percentage compared to Emirati males. Such a rate is attributed to the fact that Emirati females prefer to work in the government sector and in certain jobs and professions,” said Arif Al Mehairi, executive director of the Dubai Statistics Centre.

According to Emirates NBD‘s Dubai Economy Tracker for April, employment was broadly unchanged, despite the four-year high in the headline index. The average employment index for the year to April is just below the neutral 50 level, signalling a marginal decline in jobs in Dubai’s private sector this year, which reflects the challenging environment businesses are facing and their desire to keep costs down, despite rising volumes of output.

Globally, the International Monetary Fund’s World Economic Outlook data showed that unemployment in most global economies were 2.4 percent and above including Japan, Germany, the United States, the UK, Canada and France, among others.

According to the Labour Force Survey, Emirati males had a higher economic participation rate of 62.6 percent while the corresponding figure for Emirati females was 36.5 percent.

The jobless rate among non-Emirati residents in Dubai remained below 0.5 percent between 2016 and 2018. Unemployment among male expatriates was 0.2 percent and 1 percent among females.

Al Mehairi attributed such low rates among expatriates to the constructive policies, which grant residency visas to employees, investors, students and persons of equivalent status with the condition that persons of working-age will not be allowed to stay in the UAE without a job. “The refined rates of economic participation of working-age non-Emiratis residing in Dubai rose to 85.5 per cent in 2018,” he said.

“The results of the survey illustrate the flexibility and strength of Dubai’s economy as it continues to record the lowest rates of unemployment in the world and one of the highest rates in economic participation,” Mehairi said.

The Dubai Statistics Centre data pointed out that 2.242 million Emiratis were employed last year out of which 81.3 percent males and 18.7 percent were females.

The number of Emiratis employed and residing in Dubai went up by the end of 2018 to 82,630 compared to 75,856 by the end of 2016, which marks an increase of 6,774 employed Emiratis over the past three years, and an increase of employed Emiratis by 8.9 percent in 2018 compared to 2016.

Al Mehairi indicated that the total unemployed persons residing in Dubai was 10,468 in 2018.

These figures show that the number of unemployed increased by 2,893 from 2016 to 2018.


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