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
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
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
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.