UAE healthcare upbeat as hiring rises 34 per cent

Author: Criselda Diala-McBride | Date: 25 Nov 2015

But Middle East jobs outlook is not as bright in other sectors, finds survey

The healthcare industry defied the jobs market slowdown in the UAE to grow 34 per cent in October compared to the same month last year, the latest Monster Employment Index for the Middle East has found.
The widespread survey of recruitment intentions found the Middle East hiring market has shown signs of waning, with the index recording a year-on-year growth of just 14 per cent during the period, against 24 per cent in September 2015.
“This slowdown [in online job demand] is reflected throughout the region, including the UAE market. It is in line with industry reports about the economic slowdown in the country, triggered by the weak oil prices, which are impacting the non-oil sector as well; the gradual fiscal tightening, and the softening of real estate prices in Dubai,” said Sanjay Modi, managing director of (India, Middle East, South East Asia and Hong Kong).
Ratings agency Moody’s said the oil price slump will see the GCC countries’ combined fiscal deficit close to 10 per cent of regional GDP in 2015 and 2016, compared to an average surplus of almost nine per cent between 2010 and 2014, Gulf Business reported in October.
The agency expects governments across the oil-exporting region to strengthen policy adjustments such as reduction in subsidy spending and broadening of the non-oil sector, as hydrocarbon revenues remain under pressure.
Despite the lacklustre regional economic outlook, Modi said some industries offer a glimmer of hope for the UAE. Aside from healthcare, they include consumer goods/FMCG (up 32 per cent), as well as retail, trade and logistics (up 30 per cent).
Sectors that did not fare as well were banking, financial services and insurance (BFSI), advertising, market research, public relations, media and entertainment, which posted a measly three per cent rise. Dark clouds continue to hang over the oil and gas sector, with employment demand decreasing by 20 per cent in the UAE.
Across the Middle East region, the index noted that job opportunities for HR and administrative roles soared 32 per cent in October from the same period last year. Month on month, the demand was also robust, climbing 10 per cent from 2014.
Hiring trends were also positive in sectors such as healthcare (28 per cent), customer service (21 per cent), sales and business development (20 per cent), and software, hardware and telecom (nine per cent).
However, demand for hospitality and travel, as well as the legal professionals had been low (down two per cent and eight per cent respectively), while engineering and production, finance and accounting only posted four per cent growth.