Labor

Women Transforming the Middle East, The New Normal: A Conversation with Isobel Coleman
03/08/2013

Women Transforming the Middle East, The New Normal: A Conversation with Isobel Coleman

On women in the Saudi Shura Council: “It’s a milestone in that it puts a stake in the ground for women’s public participation, their political participation, and there are still many people who still contest that in Saudi Arabia. So the fact that the King has come down on that side and said, yes, women should be part of the political conversations that happen in the country, in that sense, it is a milestone.”

Commentary | The Saudi Workplace: Women, Youth and Work Ethic – Batarfi
02/27/2013

Commentary | The Saudi Workplace: Women, Youth and Work Ethic – Batarfi

“Are Saudi women better off in the workplace, today?” Bloomberg reporter, Dona Abu Al-Nasr asked me. Ten years after her last visit to the Kingdom, she was wondering if the unemployment situation was improving, especially for the young and women. What are the obstacles for females in certain work environments? Are they religious, social, economic or political? Who is responsible and what are the solutions?

Education, Employment and Energy: A Conversation with Amr Khashoggi
01/10/2013

Education, Employment and Energy: A Conversation with Amr Khashoggi

In the SUSRIS “Challenges 2013″ survey Amr Khashoggi added “energy” to the twin challenges of education and employment as the need to connect an ever growing youth “bulge” with jobs, in an economy that has relied on expatriate labor for many years to fulfill work need especially in the private sector. The relationship among these factors was echoed in “Challenges” by Richard Wilson, President of the Saudi-US Trade Group, who talked about education, employment and the economy, “Since they are entwined, success or failure in any one of them impacts the others.” As we said Khashoggi framed the discussion as the “Three ‘E’s” referring to education, employment and energy. We asked him to expand on this construct and fill in the background and context for these challenges. Today we provide for your consideration our exclusive conversation with Amr Khashoggi, exploring the Saudi “Three E’s.”

Analysis | Nitaqat: Towards a Saudi “New Deal?”
12/14/2012

Analysis | Nitaqat: Towards a Saudi “New Deal?”

“The demographics are unavoidable. Saudi Arabia must find ways to create more jobs for its young and growing population. As Mr. Field notes, ‘Nitaqat is a serious attempt to adjust the employee/employer balance in Saudi Arabia and is, in its own way, as critical to the Kingdom’s long-term social and political well-being as anything occurring across the Red Sea in Egypt.’”

Saudi Arabia Economics – June 2011 – BSF
07/21/2011

Saudi Arabia Economics – June 2011 – BSF

This latest monthly report, “Quota counting: New Saudi employment rules to shake up private sector,” authored by Chief Economist Dr. John Sfakianakis and the BSF economist analysis team, explores Saudi‘s new employment strategy, Nitaqat, and some of the motivations that have led to its unveiling and the potential implications of its introduction. Some of the report’s key findings include: while just under 10% of private sector staff are Saudi nationals, Saudi youth face the highest unemployment in the region apart from Iraq, necessitating the need for urgent job creation; Nitaqat could force some smaller companies out of business, but in the longer term lead to higher wages, better efficiency and competition; forcing the private sector to hire nationals is only part of the solution, the education system needs to catch up by turning out graduates with skills the workforce needs; the government’s aggressive hiring program threatens to slow Nitaqat’s success and undermine productivity; and the external impact of the Nitaqat strategy could be a decline in remittances to major recipients such as Pakistan, Egypt or the Philippines.

Saudi Arabia Economics – June 2011 – BSF
06/21/2011

Saudi Arabia Economics – June 2011 – BSF

This latest monthly report, “Quota counting: New Saudi employment rules to shake up private sector,” authored by Chief Economist Dr. John Sfakianakis and the BSF economist analysis team, explores Saudi‘s new employment strategy, Nitaqat, and some of the motivations that have led to its unveiling and the potential implications of its introduction. Some of the report’s key findings include: while just under 10% of private sector staff are Saudi nationals, Saudi youth face the highest unemployment in the region apart from Iraq, necessitating the need for urgent job creation; Nitaqat could force some smaller companies out of business, but in the longer term lead to higher wages, better efficiency and competition; forcing the private sector to hire nationals is only part of the solution, the education system needs to catch up by turning out graduates with skills the workforce needs; the government’s aggressive hiring program threatens to slow Nitaqat’s success and undermine productivity; and the external impact of the Nitaqat strategy could be a decline in remittances to major recipients such as Pakistan, Egypt or the Philippines.

More Labor