Nitaqat: Saudi employment in construction sector impressive

Updated 10 January 2015
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Nitaqat: Saudi employment in construction sector impressive

Since 2011, several Saudization initiatives have been launched by the Ministry of Labor; notably the Nitaqat program. This program achieved high levels of compliance in the two years since its launch, with companies classified within the red domain dropping by 75 percent, Jadwa Investment says in its 2015 Saudi Economy Report
“We believe that there is still much room for broader enforcement, given that unclassified companies — mainly small businesses — constitute 86 percent of total companies in the Kingdom,” said the Jadwa economists.
Citing data from the Ministry of Labor, they said that the Saudization rate in the private sector increased from 10.9 percent to 15.2 percent between 2011 and 2013. The growth in employment of Saudis surpassed that of foreigners since the start of reforms by the Ministry of Labor.
Saudi employment growth in the private sector averaged 26.7 percent between 2011 and 2013 , while growth in foreign employment averaged 9.4 percent during the same period, said the Jadwa report.
Between 2011 and 2013, the transport and communications sector recorded the highest improvement in Saudization rates from 9 percent to 20 percent. Manufacturing also underwent a notable improvement in Saudization rates (from 13 percent to 19.3 percent). Saudization rates in the retail and construction sectors also improved from 12.9 percent and 7.2 percent to 18.4 percent and 10.3 percent respectively, said the report.
Taking average growth for the period between 2011 and 2013, improved Saudization rates in the transport sector came mainly as a result of a significant 59 percent growth in employment of Saudis. Average Saudi employment growth in the manufacturing and wholesale and retail sectors was also high, at 25 percent each.
Meanwhile employment growth for non-Saudis averaged just 4 percent and 7 percent respectively. The construction sector — the most labor intensive part of the private sector — recorded an impressive 34 percent average growth in employment of Saudis, while employment of non-Saudis in the sector grew by 14 percent.
The higher growth in Saudi employment in the construction sector is impressive given the particularly high wage differential from non-Saudis. Saudis in the construction sector earned a monthly average of SR3,330 in 2013, while non-Saudis earned only SR1,029.
“Looking ahead, we see that while employment growth of nationals in labor intensive sectors is expected to continue improving as companies in these sectors adjust to new norms, further raising the Saudization rate in high-skilled sectors — mainly manufacturing – remains a challenge,” said the researchers.
“We believe that one of the main impediments to higher growth of Saudi employment in these sectors is the lack of skill-matching between educational achievements and these sector’s requirements; a challenge that we believe is being matched through ongoing initiatives that include significant investments in the education sector particularly on vocational training as well as the ongoing King Abdullah foreign scholarship program,” the researchers added.


South Korea: Japan dispute to hit global technology companies

Updated 17 July 2019
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South Korea: Japan dispute to hit global technology companies

  • Japan’s steps are inconsistent with World Trade Organization principles, South Korean government source says

SEOUL: Export curbs Japan imposed in its dispute with South Korea will adversely affect global technology companies and hurt the operations of tech giant Samsung in the Texas state capital of Austin, a South Korean government source said on Wednesday.
Japan’s steps are inconsistent with World Trade Organization principles, but South Korea wants to resolve the dispute through dialogue, the source told reporters in Seoul, speaking on the condition of anonymity in order to discuss negotiations.
If Japan goes so far as to drop South Korea from its “white list” of countries with minimum trade restrictions, it would cause a “tremendous amount of problems,” the source added.