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 estimates.
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
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.