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 population.
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
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 expert said.
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 foreign workers.
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.