UAE jobs market bucks sluggish trend for region

The UAE jobs market has been one of the few bright spots in an otherwise sluggish period for employment opportunities across the region. The Monster Employment Index, a gauge of online job posting activity, showed that the UAE last month was up 10 per cent year-on-year, with the healthcare industry setting the pace as activity […]

The UAE jobs market has been one of the few bright spots in an otherwise sluggish period for employment opportunities across the region.

The Monster Employment Index, a gauge of online job posting activity, showed that the UAE last month was up 10 per cent year-on-year, with the healthcare industry setting the pace as activity rose 46 per cent.

“Employment is tight though across the GCC with employers being increasingly selective,” noted Tim Fox, chief economist at Emirates NBD. “Margins are being squeezed and that is playing itself out in the jobs market. Health care is obviously a growth sector, but the trends in employment right now are obviously challenging.”

At the same time, he said, recent purchasing managers’ index data showed that UAE output and economic activity were doing well.

The Monster gauge’s positive outlook for the UAE was echoed in Bahrain and Oman, but it showed a third consecutive month of year-on-year declines in overall GCC online recruitment. “Clearly, employers are adopting a much more cautious and risk-averse approach to hiring,” said Sanjay Modi, regional managing director at Monster.com.

Online recruitment activity in the Gulf region fell 21 per cent year-on-year in June to the lowest level this year, with a sharp 18 per cent decline since March alone.

Job posting activity in Egypt, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait fell 30 per cent, 25 per cent, 18 per cent and 9 per cent respectively.

In the UAE, the index for top growth occupations showed that activity for healthcare professionals was up 31 per cent last month compared to a year earlier.

A broader measure of the healthcare sector, including ancillary staff such as cleaners, rose 46 per cent year-on- year to set the pace nationwide. Next was the grouping of retail, trade and logistics with 32 per cent growth.

“We expect this positive trend to continue,” said Mr Modi.

Meanwhile many workers are attempting to secure or improve their positions through job training.

According to online recruitment firm GulfTalent, one in five professionals looking to take up training want an online course compared to 18 per cent seeking the traditional classroom-only format.

ascott@thenational.ae

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Source: Business

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