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33% of Dubai's workforce comes from other emirates

Image: Arif Al Mehairi, Executive Director of DSC
Image: Arif Al Mehairi, Executive Director of DSC

 Dubai had an unemployment rate of 0.5 per cent last year, a figure that is significantly lower than the global average, according to Dubai Statistics Center (DSC) figures released on Wednesday. The 2017 survey results show that the overall economic participation rate (percentage of employed people in the total working-age population) increased in 2017 by nearly one per cent to reach 83.1 per cent from 82.2 per cent in 2016. Female workers accounted for the largest share of the increase in the economic participation rate, rising 4.3 per cent to reach 53.6 per cent in 2017, compared to 49.3 per cent in 2016." Arif Al Muhairi, Executive Director of Dubai Statistics Center, said total employment in Dubai reached 2.778 million people in 2017, out of which emirate's resident workforce numbered 2.077 million while its non-resident workforce (workforce residing outside Dubai) totalled over 700,000. This means nearly one third 33.4 per cent of workforce comes from other emirates such as Sharjah, Ajman, Abu Dhabi etc. Over the last three years, Dubai's labour market has added an average of 110,000 people annually to its resident workforce." The economic participation rate of Emiratis increased by 3 percentage points to reach 51.1 per cent. Emirati men had an economic participation rate of 65.4 per cent while the corresponding figure for Emirati women was 37.4 per cent. Revealing details of the unemployment rate of Emiratis residing in Dubai, Al Muhairi said "The rate increased by half a percentage point, from 2.9 per cent in 2016 to 3.4 per cent in 2017. The unemployment rate of Emirati men increased by 0.6 percentage point, from 2 per cent in 2016 to 2.6 per cent in 2017 while that of Emirati women increased by half a percentage point from 4.4 per cent in 2016 to 4.9 per cent in 2017, bringing the total number of unemployed Emiratis residing in Dubai to 2,851." Results showed that 27.6 per cent of the labour force work in the construction sector, 17.9 per cent in the wholesale and retail trade sector and 8 per cent in manufacturing. As much as 54.7 per cent Emirati employees work in public administration, defense and compulsory social security, while 28.7 per cent of nonEmiratis work in construction. "About 61.5 per cent of the Emirati male workforce have jobs in public administration and defence compared to 42.6 per cent of females. About 9 per cent of Emiratis work in transportation and storage activities and 8.2 per cent work in wholesale and retail activities. Women working in finance and insurance activities represent 13.8 per cent of the total Emirati female workforce while those working in education account for 7.9 per cent," Al Muhairi said. Unemployment According to Dubai Statistics Centre, the vast majority of unemployed people in Dubai 98.8 per cent are in the age group of 20 to 39 years. Youth in the age group of 18-24 years represent 39 per cent of the total number of unemployed people in the emirate.