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Unemployment Rate in Dubai is the Lowest Globally at 0.4%

Image: Arif AlMuhairi

Image: Arif AlMuhairi

According to the Results of Dubai Labor Force Annual Survey


Dubai Central Statistics Center (DSC) has recently announced the major results of Dubai Labor Force Survey 2016 signifying that unemployment rate in Dubai is stable as it stood at 0.4% only compared to previous years.

Mr. Arif Obaid Al Muhairi, DSC Executive Director, in a press statement to "Al Bayan" said that, "This survey is one of the most significant annual strategic projects implemented by DSC. Indeed, its detailed results provide an integrated image of the structure and composition of the labor force of Dubai regular residents. This definitely would enable decision and policy makers to develop plans and programs that deal with the employed, unemployed and those out of the labor forces.

Mr. Al Muhairi underscored that the results have also indicated that unemployment rate among UAE nationals increased by 0.1% in 2016 compared to 2015 (from 2.8% to 2.9%) because the rate of UAE male decreased by 0.4% (from 2.4% in 2015 to 2.0% in 2016), while UAE females' rate rose by 0.9% (from 3.5% in 2015 to 4.4% in 2016). The slight increase in unemployment level among UAE females is mostly due to the fact that they are fresh graduates holding bachelor and higher degrees, and that they look for specific jobs in certain sectors.


15 years

Al Muhairi went on to say that the net economic participation rate (labor force in proportion to the population of 15 years old and above) dropped in 2016 compared to 2015 by 0.5%, that is from 82.7% to 82.2%. This largest share of this drop is attributed to mainly females whose economic participation went down by 1.5% over during 2016 compared to 2015 (from 50.8% to 49.3%).



He added that, "More than 50% of Emirati and 60.2% of expat employees are aged between 25 and 39 years. Actually, the age and gender structure of the regular resident employees in Dubai reveals that 60.0% of the total employed persons are in the age category of 25-39 years and that 59.2% of the total male workers are concentrated in this category. On the other hand, the percentage of female workers of the same age category reached 63.8% of the total employed females. The same applies to Emirati workers as the vast majority of them belong to the age category of 25-39 years and represent 52.8% of the total UAE labor force. Out of that percentage, 48.0% of the entire Emirati male workers belong to this age group, while the percentage of Emirati females workers of the same age group was 60.4% of the total Emirati female workers. Based on that, we could conclude that Dubai's labor force is young and capable of giving and developing for the distant future.



Al Muhairi pointed out that more than one third of Emirati females work in specialized professions that require higher education, skill and competency. In contrast, about 30.0% of Emirati males work as technicians and assistant specialists. He underscored that the results of the said survey revealed that the percentage of the "leader" legislators, senior staff and managers among Emirati nationals amounted to 14.7% of the total Emirati labor force. Out of the later percentage, the Emirati male leaders account for 15.5% while Emirati female leaders reached 13.3%.



According to Al Muhairi, "The general policies of attracting labor have reflected in labor market requirements in the Emirate which are anchored on enhancing productivity, labor efficiency for entrepreneurship and global competitiveness. Indeed, the majority of Emirati workers are academically qualified and the survey results indicate that illiteracy rate among them is almost negligible, 0.1%. Furthermore, the higher educational level of Emirati workers is so evident as workers holding bachelor and higher degrees is 44.2%. This percentage is considerably higher among Emirati female workers reaching up to 56.5% compared to 36.7% of Emirati male workers holding bachelor degree or higher. In general, the percentage of workers holding academic qualifications and certificates higher than the general secondary certificate is 35.3% of the entire workers in Dubai".


The Majority

As stated by Al Muhairi, the majority of the unemployed "who are able, willing, available and jobseekers" fall within the age category of 20- 39 years, at a percentage of 96.0%. In other words, all the unemployed are young people, especially in the age group 20-24 years. The percentage of unemployed Emiratis within this age group was 45.6% of the total number of the 2,295 unemployed Emiratis. Meanwhile, the percentage of non-Emirati unemployed persons of the same age group was 54.3% whose total is 5,280 persons.



Al Muhairi pointed out that the percentage of the unemployed jobseekers whose total counted for 7,575 persons in Dubai and holding bachelor or higher degrees is 74.7%. The survey results revealed that the percentage of unemployed Emirati females holding bachelor or higher degrees is 61.3% of the total unemployed Emirati females. Notably, 56.9% of the unemployed Emirati males hold secondary education certificate and about one quarter of unemployed Emirati males hold bachelor or higher degrees.



Al Muhairi thanked all families who participated in this survey for their contribution had a profound influence on its success and made it possible to obtain such detailed results of Dubai labor force. He stated that all the detailed results are published on DSC official website, where all stakeholders, researchers and customers may review and download them.



Dubai Labor Force Survey is conducted on an annual basis. The sample of the survey comprised 3,000 households residing in Dubai distributed equally as 1,500 Emirati households and 1,500 non- Emirati households who geographically spread throughout the Emirate. Field visits were carried out and household members were interviewed in person by qualified and trained researchers to obtain all demographic and educational characteristics of all members, in addition to obtaining detailed data on the economic characteristics of individuals within the work age as per the issued standards, definitions and classifications of the International Labor Organization (ILO).