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 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 growth.
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