UAE sees increase in hiring levels for first time in a year

UAE sees increase in hiring levels for first time in a year
LinkedIn said that there was a 112 percent growth in demand for medical professionals. (File/AFP)
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Updated 03 February 2021

UAE sees increase in hiring levels for first time in a year

UAE sees increase in hiring levels for first time in a year
  • The survey found that the growth in sales was weaker than in December but activity had grown

DUBAI: The UAE has experienced an uptick in employment levels for the first time in a year, according to the latest monthly Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) for January.

According to the latest monthly IHS Markit UAE PMI, the rating for January was 51.2. While the figure has remained unchanged since December, it is the highest level since November 2019. The PMI analyzes the UAE’s non-oil economy each month by surveying the opinions of 400 executives across the country. Any figure greater than 50 indicates overall improvement of the sector.

The survey found that the growth in sales was weaker than in December but activity had grown, mainly due to the resumption of construction projects.

Commenting on the latest survey results, David Owen, economist at IHS Markit, said: “The UAE non-oil private sector continued to record soft growth in the new year. Compared to the results seen throughout 2020, the latest data indicated more favorable business conditions. However, with firms still having to make up lost ground from the COVID-19 lockdown, the pace of recovery so far appears subdued.”

“On the upside, employment edged into positive territory for the first time in over a year, showing that firms are gaining more confidence to expand their operating capacity,” he said.

A study by Microsoft’s professional networking site LinkedIn found that the roles that have seen an increase in demand in the UAE were specialized medical professionals, digital content freelancers, professional and personal coaches and finance and general business roles.

Ali Matar, head of LinkedIn EMEA Emerging Markets, Middle East & Africa, said: “The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted the way businesses operate and how people work, but it has also opened up opportunities in a number of sectors as businesses continue to adapt to the pandemic . . . We are also seeing a rise in e-commerce, digital marketing roles and professional coaching as jobseekers are leveraging their experience and expertise to move into new careers.”

LinkedIn said that there was a 112 percent growth in demand for medical professionals, especially nurses and general practitioners. The study also highlighted a 74 percent surge in demand for business development and sales executives, as well as a 61 percent increase in technology hires in 2020, with front-end developers and technical directors particularly in demand.

Looking to the future, Matar said that 2021 would “undoubtedly be a year of continued change, but companies will also continue to look for new ways to improve services, create fresh business opportunities and strengthen their talent pools, taking advantage of a greater diversity of skills and talent in the job market.”