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
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
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 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.