Saudi Arabia’s unemployment rate drops to 12.7%

The data was derived from labor force survey estimates and market data from bodies such as the Ministry of Labor and Social Development (pictured) and the Ministry of Civil Service. (File photo/SPA)
Updated 02 April 2019

Saudi Arabia’s unemployment rate drops to 12.7%

JEDDAH: The unemployment rate in Saudi Arabia fell to 12.7 percent in the fourth quarter of 2018, according to official data published on Sunday by the General Authority for Statistics.
A quarterly bulletin indicated a slight improvement in the rate, which stood at 12.8 percent in the third quarter of last year.
The unemployment rate among Saudi males stood at 6.6 percent, compared to 32.5 percent among Saudi females during the fourth quarter.
The bulletin’s information is derived from labor force survey estimates and market data from bodies such as the Ministry of Labor and Social Development and the Ministry of Civil Service. 
The bulletin indicated that the total number of Saudi employees in the Kingdom has reached 3,111,199. 
It also showed that the number of Saudis seeking work reached 970,229 during the forth quarter, according to data from government agencies’ administrative records.


Saudi defense contractor to invest up to $16 million to further localize services

Updated 18 November 2019

Saudi defense contractor to invest up to $16 million to further localize services

DUBAI: Saudi-based defense contractor Middle East Propulsion Company (MEPC) plans to invest between $13 million and $16 million over the next two years to build test cells for aircraft engines and establish new production lines.
These expansion activities should complement the company’s objective to localize high-tech repairs and combine them in one roof for the Saudi defense ministry, which is a major customer, CEO Abdullah Al-Omari told Arab News.
Instead of sending aircraft engines and engines modules overseas for further servicing, thus take up more time before military assets return to actual service, localization not only cuts the turn-around period but also reduces Saudi government spending for the repairs.
“We have accomplished more than 1,600 engine and engine modules [since 2001, they] have been maintained totally in Saudi Arabia,” Al-Omari said at the sidelines of the Dubai Airshow. “The engines consume 45 percent of what you spend on aircraft.”
The company works on 150 to 160 engines and engine modules every year.
MEPC is the first specialized MRO (maintenance, repair and overhaul) company operating in the Middle East, according to its website. It has invested over $26 million during the previous two years for the localization of its MRO services.
“We used to send these parts to outside, it takes 6 months to 24 months sometimes … in case of the Apache engines, minimum turn around is 24 months,” Al-Omari said, but their localization efforts have greatly improved their capability by cutting the turn-around period to only 150 days.
The speed at which MEPC is able to repair engines and modules, boosts the readiness of Saudi military, Al-Omari added.
The company is in talks with major defense contractors, including Honeywell for the Abrams talks and GE T700 engines, for possible tie-ups to further improve their capability, he said.
“Currently there is a potential with the Kuwait army to provide them with similar services [being delivered to the Saudi defense ministry],” Al-Omari said, and expects that cooperation would start “within the next two years or so.”