Gulf states are intensifying their efforts to create jobs for nationals at the expense of expatriate workers as they face youth unemployment and pressure to prepare for a future less reliant on crude exports, writes Camilla Hall.
Kuwait has said it will reduce foreign workers by 100,000 a year, while hundreds of thousands of companies in Saudi Arabia faced a deadline last month to meet the proscribed quota of Saudi employees or risk having their licences removed. Continue reading »
The latest official figures show that unemployment in Egypt has risen to 13 per cent in the last quarter of 2012, up from 12.5 per cent in the third quarter, writes Heba Saleh.
This translates into a loss of 162,000 jobs across the economy. In comparison, unemployment on the eve of the 2011 revolt, which toppled Hosni Mubarak as president, was 8.9 per cent according to the government statistics agency.
But the official figures tell only part of the story. Continue reading »
Both pessimists and optimists have something to chew on in the latest data release on the Polish economy.
Retail sales performed better than expected, but unemployment rose to levels last seen six years ago. Continue reading »
South Korea’s unemployment rate fell to a four-year low of just 3 per cent in October, a level that must sound enviable to many advanced countries. But Korean workers should brace themselves for a tough winter as many companies prepare redundancies in the face of a worsening economic slowdown. Continue reading »
As South Africa’s mining industry reels from weeks of wildcat strikes amid warnings that the unrest could lead to more job losses in an industry that provides employment for around 500,000 people, the last thing the country needed was a rise in unemployment.
But that’s what it got on Thursday when Statistics SA reported that joblessness in Africa’s largest economy had risen to 25.5 per cent in the third quarter, up from 24.9 per cent in the previous three months of the year. Continue reading »
If further proof were needed that India’s so-called “demographic dividend” isn’t turning out quite as planned, a new Gallup survey shows that just 26 per cent of working age Indians held full-time jobs in the first half of 2012.
The survey pours more water on the idea that India’s young population will be a panacea for its economic woes. An estimated 300m young Indians are expected to join the workforce by 2025, but at the current pace, there simply won’t be enough jobs in the country to absorb them. Continue reading »
By Majid Jafar, CEO of Crescent Petroleum.
The threat to stability in the Arab world posed by youth unemployment is such that governments old and new must urgently address the worsening economic environment. If a solution is not found soon, the whole region risks instability or even secondary revolutions. Continue reading »
The European Commission on Thursday said Hungary’s economy is set to contract by 0.1 per cent this year, down from 0.5 per cent growth in its previous prognosis, with the outlook clouded by an expected recession for the European Union as a whole.
While the report acknowledges that Hungary had proved more resilient in the second half of 2011 than anticipated in last autumn’s forecast, the authors warn that a lot of this was due to agriculture rebounding from a poor 2010 in a way that’s “unlikely to be repeated” this year. So don’t expect miracles. Continue reading »
While the economic debate in much of the developed world is dominated by unemployment worries, east Asia continues to enjoy virtually full employment.
Even though regional output growth is slowing fast, there is no sign of an imminent increase in unemploment. Why?
According to RBS, a lot of it is down to the Chinese tourist. Buoyed by a steep rise in intra-regional tourism – especially from China - job creation in services in east Asia is booming. Even if the factories are a little quiet, the hotels, bars and restaurants are not. Continue reading »
Brazil’s economy is at another of those multi-speed moments that it is becoming known for.
Readers will recall that in 2010, the last year in office of President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, economists complained that Brazil had one foot on the brake and one on the accelerator. The foot on the brake was interest rates as the central bank ramped them up to try to keep inflation under control while the accelerator was, of course, fiscal spending as the outgoing president kept the budgetary pedal to the metal as his anointed successor, Dilma Rousseff, contested an election that year.
Now Brazil is in the strange position of having record low unemployment – 4.7 per cent in December compared with 5.2 per cent in November, even as its economy crawled along at near zero rates of growth in the third and fourth quarters. Continue reading »
The Arab Spring is expected to improve the long-term growth prospects of the moribund Arab world — but that’s not going to happen if companies have to keep struggling to find skilled local labour.
To overcome the skills gap, smart companies are realizing that when it comes to education, they’ve got to take matters into their own hands. Continue reading »
By Farouk Soussa of Citigroup
Gulf countries need to wean themselves off cheap foreign labour for greater social stability.
The goals of those protesting across the Middle East vary greatly from country to country but one thing that most have in common is a sense of frustration with their economic situation, at the heart of which is a lack of suitable jobs. And one step that the authorities in Gulf countries could take is to limit the inflow of foreign workers to promote greater local employment. Continue reading »