Vacancies Dwindle As Middle East Jobs Market Stalls

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Expats seeking jobs in the United Arab Emirates are chasing fewer vacancies as recruitment stalls.

The number of vacancies advertised online has dropped by almost a third (31%), compared with jobs available 12 months ago.

The slump is not across the board, though, as some sectors are showing more resilience.

The figures come from online job board Monster.

The firm’s Middle East index rated healthcare as the best performing employment sector up 8% as the top growth industry and 7% as the top growth occupation.

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Hospitality (-2%) and education (-3%) had the lowest reverse of growth, while hospitality (-4%) and human resources/administration (-9%) had the next lowest drops in occupation growth.

Education job boost

Education was the only shining light of opportunity across the Middle East, with healthcare coming second.

Although the number of available jobs across all sectors dropped year-on-year across the region, the decline was only half that of the UAE at 15%.

Only three of 13 industry sectors showed jobs growth in June compared with 12 months earlier.

Education surged by 18% and healthcare by 9% as the industries with most jobs growth, while manufacturing was bottom of the table, showing a drop of 34%.

Occupation growth reflected similar rises and falls. Healthcare was up 16% across the region over the 12 months, while customer service showed the worst fall – with vacancies down by a quarter.

The number of online jobs was up in four of the seven Middle East countries covered by the website.

Egypt led the way with a 17% rise, followed by Qatar, with an 11% increase in vacancies year on year.

Lack of confidence

The UAE reported the worst performance.

“The Middle east is suffering from a lack of business confidence in the same way as many other regions,” said a spokesman for the firm. “Managers are showing caution about taking staff on and this is reported by the large drop in number of vacancies.”

Another recent survey by jobs board Bayt reported 63% of workers in the Middle East and North Africa region felt the job market was picking up.

Oil and gas are considered the sectors with the most growth across the region by a third of workers, followed by IT and telecoms (24%).

Almost half (44%) of professionals told the company that they are not seeking a move and would prefer to stay with their current employer for as long as possible.

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