Saudi women are taking the kingdom's job market by storm, joining the local workforce in record-breaking numbers. The most recent official statistics revealed that the number of Saudi females working in both public and private sectors reached a total of 596,700 in the first quarter of 2019, rising by 282.5 percent. This year, 440,700 women started working compared to 156,000 in 2018.
This percentage is mostly attributed to recent changes being implemented in the kingdom when it comes to female employment. In recent months, the country issued orders allowing women to work in governmental roles and other fields that were once strictly dominated by men.
The latest statistics add to numbers that previously showed significant rises in the percentages of women joining the country's workforce. Data released by Pew Research Center revealed that Saudi Arabia experienced the highest growth rate among G20 countries of women joining the workforce in the past 20 years.
Earlier this year, a top official at the country's Ministry of Labor and Social Development said around 600,000 Saudi women have entered the country's job market.
Nawal Abdullah Al-Thabian also said that the ministry recently initiated 68 schemes to facilitate employment opportunities for Saudi women. These include schemes like the QARA program, which provides children daycare facilities at workplaces. Al-Thabian stated that 13,516 working women benefited from the scheme.
Vision 2030 also played a major role in the recent rise
One of the main goals of the kingdom's Vision 2030 is to increase the percentage of women in the workforce and so far it has been pretty successful at doing just that.
Launched by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the ever-transforming blueprint also aims at diversifying the economy beyond oil and modernizing its industries.
With more women hired than ever before, Saudi Arabia's unemployment rate for females has significantly dropped. During the third quarter of 2018, the rates went down to 30.9 percent among Saudi women from 31.1 percent in the second quarter of 2018.