July 5, 2018 / 8:30 AM / 7 months ago

Unemployment rate among Saudis rises to record 12.9 percent in first quarter

Workers are seen at the solar plant factory in Uyayna, north of Riyadh, Saudi Arabia April 10, 2018. Picture taken April 10, 2018. REUTERS/Faisal Al Nasser

DUBAI (Reuters) - The unemployment rate among Saudi citizens rose to a record 12.9 percent in the first quarter of this year from 12.8 percent in the previous quarter, according to data published by the government’s statistics agency on Thursday.

The government is pushing through economic reforms to develop non-oil industries and create jobs, but tax hikes and other austerity measures designed to close a large state budget deficit are hurting many private sector employers.

Reporting by Andrew Torchia; Editing by Alison Williams

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