UAE industries hiring continues, latest employment index

The overall job market is still facing some headwinds, but recruitment activity in certain industries is now picking up, a new research by Monster Employment Index

The Monster Employment Index, a monthly gauge of the labour market in the Middle East based on tens of thousands of job listings online, indicated that hiring in certain sectors like advertising, public relations, media and entertainment; hospitality; and oil and gas in the UAE declined by 13 per cent, 17 per cent and 22 per cent, respectively in March compared to a year earlier.

“There is no doubt that falling oil prices have hit the economy hard. On the back of banks’ tightening liquidity and governments’ austerity measures to curb budget deficits, employers clearly are much more cautious in hiring this year,” said Sanjay Modi, managing director, Monster.com for India, Middle East, Southeast Asia and Hong Kong.

However, job demand is still high in other businesses that remain immune to the impact of lower oil prices and stronger US dollar. The positive growth in these industries is pushing the UAE’s overall online recruitment activity higher, with job demand rising by about a quarter (24 per cent) in March.

Across the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) region, hiring activity exceeded the year-ago level by 8 per cent in March and exhibited the first positive monthly growth since November 2015, up 7 per cent.

“Despite negative economic projections, growth momentum in the GCC region is still positive,” said Modi.

At the top of the list of sectors looking for new talent is the healthcare industry, which also led the table in February, with a 38 per cent jump in online listings.  The Dubai 2021 Health Strategy, which seeks to deliver better quality and cost-effective health services in the UAE, has helped create more jobs for medical professionals.

The retail, trade and logistics industry emerged as the second-best performer, posting a 36 per cent rise in job vacancies.

Companies in the consumer goods, food, home appliance, garments, textiles, leather, gems and jewellery have a huge appetite for hiring as well, registering a 32 per cent increase in job offers.

In a separate report, recruitment consultancy firm Robert Walters, highlighted that vacancies for professionals across the country went up by 8 per cent between the fourth quarter of 2015 and first quarter of the year.

“Despite uncertainty in the financial markets, employers across a range of sectors have looked to expand over the last three months, spurring demand for a wide range of professionals,” the company said.

The Robert Walters Middle East Jobs Index showed that jobs growth was strongest in sales and marketing, posting a 23 per cent increase in advertised roles during the same period. Vacancies in the legal industry also went up by 6.5 per cent.

The financial sectors, however, saw a drop in advertised jobs, with banking and financial services registering the highest decline (-17 per cent), followed by accounting and finance (-7 per cent).

Morgan Mckinley, another recruitment specialist in Dubai, had earlier reported that the total number of jobs on offer in the country dropped by 9 per cent between the last quarter of 2015 and first quarter of 2016.

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