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Dubai Unemployment Rate is 0.5 Percentage Point

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Al Muhairi: Stability of unemployment rates with a slight increase among Emiratis Residing in Dubai

Al Muhairi: Considered as one of the world's lowest rates emphasizing the strength and diversity of economy

Al Muhairi: 2 million and 370 thousand is the total employed persons residing in Dubai


Dubai Statistics Center (DSC) declared that unemployment rates in Dubai has been stable at its lowest; as it did not exceed 0.5% in 2019 with an unemployment rate of 4.2% among Emiratis residing in Dubai. As for the non-Emiratis residing in Dubai, it did not exceed 0.5 percentage point. (DSC) also declared that the number of economically active individuals who are in the labour force is 8 out of 10 individuals of Dubai residents. These declarations were mentioned in the report highlighting the results of Dubai Labour Force Survey 2019 annually conducted by the Emirate.


Not Every Job Seeker is Unemployed

The unemployed persons are individuals of working-age who are authorized to work; yet, they do not practice any work despite their ability and willingness to do so in addition to their serious job seeking through more than one channel during the four-week period prior to their interview. Therefore, not every job seeker is considered an unemployed person unless the abovementioned standards are applicable.

Arif Al Mehairi, Executive Director of Dubai Statistics Center, stated that such rates reflect the durability and strength of Dubai's economy. In addition, it places the Emirate at the top of the world's list when it comes to low unemployment rates and high economic participation rates among its residents. He also clarified that the remarkable decrease of unemployment rates among non-Emiratis is normal and it does not reflect any issues with the data; as the residents, who meet the standards, are associated with work, investment or study in terms of their residency in the country. Whereas the categories of dependents and those not authorized to work are not considered as unemployed persons.

Al Muhairi also added that the Labour Force Survey is one of the key annual strategic statistical projects and initiatives of the Emirate; as it is an important source of information for decision makers, policy makers, planners and labor market researchers. The survey is conducted in accordance with the up-to-date recommendations and standards adopted by the International Labor Organization (ILO), and in line with the national standards via effective partnership with the Federal Competitiveness and Statistics Authority (FCSA). It aims to identify the demographic and socio-economic characteristics of employed and unemployed individuals residing in the Emirate in general and of Emiratis in particular.

Al Muhairi clarified that the survey was carried out using the latest technologies and smart tools through all its stages starting from data collection to data publishing stage across all systems and statistical dissemination channels. In addition, interactive maps were used to infer the data of a representative sample that was scientifically designed and derived from households residing in the Emirate. The survey sample size was 3,000 households divided equally among Emirati and non-Emirati households located in the various geographical communities of the Emirate.

Al Muhairi extended his gratitude and appreciation to all households participated in the survey. He praised their eagerness to cooperate and participate as it has a great implication in supporting development planning and future shaping of the Emirate. He also emphasized that the detailed results are accessible to interested individuals through the various statistical publishing platforms of the Emirate, whether through (DSC) smart application or the website.


Unemployment Levels

Dubai Statistics Center report revealed an increase of 0.8 percentage point in the unemployment rate among Emiratis usually residing in Dubai during the last three years (2019-2017); reaching 4.2% in 2019 compared to 3.4% in 2017. Given the levels of unemployment among male Emiratis compared to females, it increased slightly among male Emiratis from 2.6% in 2017 to 2.9% in 2019. As for the Emirati females, the unemployment levels increased at a higher rate by 1.6 percentage point during the specified period from 4.9% in 2017 to 6.5% in 2019.


Economic Participation Levels

The results of the survey revealed that about 83% of Dubai's population, who are of working-age, are economic participants; where the refined economic participation rate in the Emirate (labour force divided by working-age population) was 82.8% (94.9% for males against 53.8% for females) by end of 2019. In comparison, the same rate was 83.1% (94.6% for males and 53.6% for females) by end of 2017.

The Key Characteristics of the Employed Persons

By end of 2019, the total number of employed persons who are usual residents of Dubai was 2 million, 370 thousands, and 447 persons (2,370,447), of whom 81% are males and 19% females.

Moreover, the number of employed Emiratis usually residing in Dubai increased by end of 2019; as it reached 86,546 employed persons compared to 80,216 persons by end of 2017. Therefore, there is an increase of 6,330 persons during the period from 2017 to 2019. The numbers of employed Emiratis residing in the Emirate during the specified period increased by 7.9%.

The majority of the employed Emiratis are concentrated in the age group of (20-49) years for both males and females with a percentage of 84.7% and 93.9% respectively.

The results of the survey revealed that the professional structure of the employed Emiratis is completely different from that of the employed non-Emiratis. This is a visible reality due to the nature of specific occupations and jobs preferred by Emiratis; as the vast majority (99.3%) of the employed Emiratis work in white-collar jobs "high level and specialized positions, their assistants, clerks and community services". While about 55.0% of employed non-Emiratis work in the white-collar jobs.

The percentage of Emiratis in Leading/managerial positions "legislators, senior employees and managers" was 13.0% of the total employed Emiratis. The percentage of leaders among employed male Emiratis was 13.5%, while the percentage for the same category among female Emiratis was 12.0%.

The results of the survey also revealed that the employed Emiratis are academically qualified; as illiteracy rate is almost nil, and the percentage did not exceed 0.2%. The quality education of the employed Emiratis is also evident; as the percentage of employed Emiratis for both genders with a bachelor's degree or above was 43.7%. This percentage is high among employed Emiratis and it reached more than half (56.7%). In contrast, the percentage exceeds one third among employed male Emiratis with a percentage of 36.3%.

37.2% of the employed persons in the Emirate of various nationalities are holders of a bachelor's degree or higher, which confirms that the efforts to attract qualified workers are moving in the right direction.


Key Characteristics of the Unemployed Persons

By end of 2019, the total number of the unemployed persons residing in Dubai was 10 thousands and 890 persons. In comparison with 2017, the data reveals that there is a slight increase in the number of unemployed persons with an increase not exceeding 843 unemployed persons during the specified period 2017-2019.

The majority of the unemployed persons in the Emirate are concentrated in the age group of (20-39) years, with a percentage of 98.7% of the total unemployed persons, while the youth unemployed persons aged (18-24) years represent 44.6% of the total unemployed persons.

The percentage of youth unemployed Emiratis (Dubai Residents) was 40.5% of the total unemployed Emiratis, who were 3,812 unemployed persons in number. The percentage of unemployed youth among non-Emiratis was 46.8% of the total unemployed non-Emiratis, who were 7,078 unemployed persons in number.

The data reveals that 69.5% of the total unemployed persons in the Emirate hold a bachelor's degree or above. As for the Emiratis residing in the Emirate, 61.1% of the unemployed Emirati women hold a bachelor's degree or above, while for the males the percentage is 21.9%.