Gulf Labour Markets, Migration, and Population (GLMM) Programme

An international independent, non-partisan, non-profit joint programme of a major Gulf think tank and a globally renowned academic migration centre.
The programme provides data, analyses, and recommendations contributing to the improvement of understanding and management of
Gulf labour migration, population, and labour markets, engaging with and respecting the viewpoints of all stakeholder.

Saudi Arabia: Population by nationality (Saudi/ non-Saudi), sex and relation to labour force (August 2016)

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      In the labour force           Out of the labour force      Total    
    Employed Unemployed Total In school or training Housekeeping Retired or Over age Disability or handicap or health reasons Unwillingness to work Others Total
  Male 4,185,853 254,108 4,439,961 1,609,037 0 607,064 103,686 28,287 88,925 2,436,999 6,876,960
Saudis Female 835,726 439,676 1,275,402 1,581,326 3,565,931 97,580 76,273 26,523 106,000 5,453,633 6,729,035
  Total 5,021,579 693,784 5,715,363 3,190,363 3,565,931 704,644 179,959 54,810 194,925 7,890,632 13,605,995
  Male 6,708,562 38,858 6,747,420 369,575 0 34,574 31,688 3,346 44,055 483,238 7,230,658
Non-Saudis Female 646,558 19,169 665,727 240,991 1,923,158 16,125 15,331 26,816 27,314 2,249,735 2,915,462
  Total 7,355,120 58,027 7,413,147 610,566 1,923,158 50,699 47,019 30,162 71,369 2,732,973 10,146,120
  Male 10,894,415 292,966 11,187,381 1,978,612 0 641,638 135,374 31,633 132,980 2,920,237 14,107,618
Total Female 1,482,284 458,845 1,941,129 1,822,317 5,489,089 113,705 91,604 53,339 133,314 7,703,368 9,644,497
  Total 12,376,699 751,811 13,128,510 3,800,929 5,489,089 755,343 226,978 84,972 266,294 10,623,605 23,752,115

source: GLMM calculations, based on the published results of Labour Force Survey 2016 (Q3).


1. Technical Notes and Definitions

Sampling frame of LFS 2016 Q3: Population Census 2010.
Sample size: 33,325 households
Reference period: August 2016
Population of reference: All the members of the households selected in the sample, including domestic helpers and the like who
live in one house; Saudi and non-Saudi population,
living in the Kingdom at the time of the survey.

Employed population: People (15+ years old) who did one of the following jobs during the reference period:
1. People who have been working for at least one hour for a salary or a wage (in cash or in kind)
2. People who provided unpaid assistance for others for at least one hour in any type of business or farm owned by one member of the household;
3. People who have been working for at least one hour for others without a wage or a profit (in cash or in kind) as volunteers;
4. People who were temporarily absent from work throughout the week on leave for illness or for any other reason but they were scheduled to resume work.
Workers include the students, job seekers, retirees, housewives, etc., who worked during the week preceding the visit for at least one hour, provided that this does not include household work.
Reference period for employment: The seven days preceding the interview date.

Unemployed population:
They are the individuals (15 years and over) who, during the reference period:
1. Were workless during the week preceding the household visit;
2. Were seriously looking for work during the four weeks preceding the household visit (followed at least one method to find a job).
Included under this category are those who did not search for work during the four weeks preceding the household visit because of waiting to get work
or set up their own business during the coming period, given that they already have searched for work before the fixed time.
3. People who were able to work and ready to join it when available (i.e., available for work) during the week preceding the household visit.

Economically inactive Population (Outside Labor Force):
People (15+ years old) who are not classified under the labor force (unemployed) because they do not work, do not seek a job, unable to work, or are not ready to work during the survey reference period.
For example: Students, housewives, pensioners who do not work, individuals who are unable to work, individuals who do not want to work and those who do not seek any job for other reasons.

2. Institution which provides data

General Authority for Statistics (GAStat)

3. Data availability

Labour Force Surveys conducted since 1999 are available on the website of GAStat, in Excel and PDF formats.

Last date of access: July 2017.

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