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Morgan McKinley UAE Employment Monitor: Professional job opportunities in the UAE rise 12%

Professional job opportunities across the United Arab Emirates increased by 12% between January 2014 and February 2014, according to a new survey by global recruitment specialist Morgan McKinley

Professional job opportunities across the United Arab Emirates increased by 12% between January 2014 and February 2014, according to a new survey by global recruitment specialist Morgan McKinley.

UAE Employment Monitor Highlights

  • Professional job vacancies rose by 12% between January 2014 and February 2014.
  • Between February 2013 and February 2014, there was a 7% increase in roles.
  • The number of professional jobseekers increased 7% from January 2014 to February 2014.
  • Year-on-year, the number of professionals looking for work increased by 12%.

Hiring market picks up in February following slow start

Following a quieter than expected January, when the professional jobs market was slow to pick up after the New Year break, February’s UAE Employment Monitor recorded a 12% month-on-month rise in available positions across the region – from 1,996 to 2,238 professional roles.  Compared to the same period last year, vacancies are also up, from 2,101 recorded in February 2013.

Candidates actively seeking professional opportunities numbered 11,366 in February 2014, up from 10,620 in January 2014 – a 7% increase month-on-month.  Year-on-year data also shows a jump from February 2013, when 10,148 professionals were active in the jobs market.

Trefor Murphy, Managing Director, Morgan McKinley UAE commented:

“As has been reported in the press in recent weeks, the UAE’s economy is in a particularly positive place at the moment.  According to HSBC’s PMI (purchasing managers’ index) data for February, which covers non-oil businesses, output growth is intensifying and exports are on the up to meet heightened demand from foreign markets.   This continues to have a positive effect on the professional jobs market, and while January was a relatively slow month in terms of hiring activity, February saw recruitment step up a notch once more.

“The rise in professional opportunities has been driven by a number of key sectors.  In particular we’ve seen heightened demand from chemical plants throughout Saudi Arabia and Iraq, as the region seeks to diversify from crude oil exports and capitalise on the worldwide appetite for petrochemicals.  Likewise, the power industry continues to expand, especially in the UAE and Saudi Arabia, with a move from oil and gas into renewables.  This month it was announced that solar and wind developers will soon be able to tap a €30 million (Dh151.3m) fund aimed at bringing more clean energy to the region and as a result, we predict that professionals with green energy skills will become increasingly sought after.  Suitable expertise is likely to come from expatriate sources until home-grown talent can be developed.

“Elsewhere, oil and gas operators across Iraq and Africa have stepped up their exploration programmes which has prompted a need for professionals with specific expertise in that area.  At the same time, the volatile situation in Ukraine has seen oil and gas prices soar, and oil companies across Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Abu Dhabi have escalated production in order to meet potential demand – we foresee an increase in hiring activity as a result.  Meanwhile, food and beverage companies across the region are also expanding, boosting a need for supply chain, procurement and manufacturing experts.  Although firms in this sector are often seeking international experience – and the fresh perspective this can bring – native Arabic speakers are still highly preferred in senior positions, particularly in functions that are driving influence and change.

“Lastly, as we progress through 2014, we’re likely to see local businesses undertaking significant re-structuring programmes at mid-management level, particularly within the real estate, energy and manufacturing spheres.  Firms are gearing up for a consistent growth period and adding to head counts in anticipation of heightened demand.”