Slim pickings for jobseekers in UAE
Recruitment specialists say slump in vacancies down to fall in oil price
Finding a job in the UAE at the moment is a challenge, according to a report by recruitment consultants.
Vacancies in the UAE slipped 12 per cent in the first quarter of 2016 compared to the same period last year, while the market saw a 22 per cent rise in jobseekers, according to the report by Morgan McKinley, which measured figures across a number of sectors.
“It was a more challenging start to the year than usual,” said Trefor Murphy, Managing Director for the MENA region at Morgan McKinley. “The general feeling is that it’s a tough market out there, but then again, it’s a tough market everywhere at the moment.”
There were 7,212 vacancies in the UAE in the first three months of 2016 compared to 7,899 in 2015, as banks, financial services and oil and gas sectors cut jobs following plunging oil prices.
“When the price of a barrel of oil goes from $125 to $35 the economy will inevitably have difficulties,” Murphy said.
But the outlook in some sectors is better as companies are still launching new property and construction projects, the report found.
The government is also steaming ahead with new developments that boost the economy and local infrastructure, it added.
James Maltman, from recruitment firm Engage Selection, said: “It’s not as busy as it was last year and there’s been a lot of redundancies from the engineering and project management sectors, but contractors are still hiring - not in massive number but they are still hiring.” He added: “Local developers are still busy with projects such as Blue Water, the Creek project and Expo 2020 are starting to gain momentum.” Last week a job fair at University of Dubai saw applicants pour in from job markets in Europe and the Middle East. Hatem Hannoun, a business development manager at Bayt.com, said: “The competition is higher now and there’s the general perception of the market being tougher these days.” A recent Middle East Societies Market Sentiment Survey by finance body CFA said that job opportunities for finance workers in the GCC will continue to decline in 2016. “With banks and other financial institutions announcing job cuts, CFA members believe that this trend will continue as the job market worsens for finance professionals,” the report said.