UAE has one of the lowest unemployment levels
in the world, standing at only 2.4 per cent
at the end of 2001 as a result of high growth
in the non-oil economy and a government drive
to find jobs for citizens, according to official
country's workforce was estimated at around
2.079 million last year, of which nearly 2.029
million were employed, the Ministry of Planning
said in its 2002 annual report.
means around 50,000 people were jobless, accounting
for about 2.4 per cent of the total labour
force and just 1.4 per cent of the 3.48 million
ministry said it had revised its figures for
the workforce which it earlier estimated at
around 1.85 million at the end of 2001.
said the revision was apparently prompted
by drastic changes in the labour market as
thousands of expatriates had to leave because
of new labour policies while a large number
of nationals are taking up jobs after reaching
the legal job age.
to other developing or even developed countries,
the UAE's unemployment rate is one of the
lowest in the world," said a UAE banker.
experts noted official estimates do not include
thousands of illegal expatriate residents
who are not registered with the Ministry of
Labour and Social Affairs. Although some of
them have part time jobs in violation of labour
laws, many of them are unemployed.
than 200,000 illegal migrants, mostly Asians,
left the UAE five years ago to benefit from
a general amnesty ordered by President His
Highness Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan
to clean up the country from immigration violations
and restore discipline in the job market.
Another spardon is expected to be announced
in the next few weeks.
actual unemployment rates might be higher,
the UAE does not have a real joblessness given
its strong economy and a serious government
campaign to employ nationals through the creation
of new jobs in the public and private sectors
and replacement of expatriate workers.
said they saw no hurdles for such a campaign
as the non-oil economy is growing by at least
four per cent, which is faster than the population
means the UAE can cope with the population
growth and at the same time maintain its high
per capita income which has eroded sharply
in other countries in the region," an
breakdown by the Ministry of Planning showed
the UAE has never suffered from a severe unemployment
problem, with the rate standing at only 1.9
per cent in 1975.
fluctuated in the following years but remained
in the range of one to three per cent.
level is expected to be maintained in the
following years as the government's new labour
policies focus on employment of nationals
and deportation of unnecessary and unqualified
private sector will likely play a major role
in the employment of citizens given its massive
potential and the fact that the public sector
is saturated and is not growing enough to
accommodate large numbers of new jobs.