GCC companies report higher employment activity
The Index of the Saudi British Bank SABB HSBC PMI indicated that business activity in Saudi Arabia has hit its highest level since August. The seasonally-adjusted index, which assesses over 400 private firms, is well above 50 points, indicating a swing from contraction to expansion.
The firms on the PMI also reported a three-month high in employment in the non-oil private sector. Within the oil sector, stability in global oil prices combined with new partnerships aimed at developing infrastructure and creating jobs have maintained Saudi Arabia's economy. The construction sector has been booming; however, instability due to the Arab Spring and European economic problems have decreased demand for products and services.
Regional job recruitment experts report that Saudi Arabia will lead the Gulf region in job creation next year. It has maintained 5% year-on-year GDP growth for the last 32 years and has persistently been thought of as a source of economic development for the area. Its job market lately reached an annual growth rate of 49%. Among the other countries in the region, both the UAE and Qatar are likely to experience growth in the job market over the next year. The UAE's job market as grown 7% annually and Qatar reported 22% growth in October. Bahrain, in contrast, experienced an 11% contraction in the job market over the past year. Kuwait's job market grew 3% from September to October.
Oman is looking towards the promotion of investment in economic free zones to spur economic growth. The free zones are expected to bring in $6 billion in domestic and foreign investments and to create over 20,000 jobs. Industrial estates have been allotted roughly 87 million square meters of land within the country with investments totaling $9.4 billion. (Source: english.nuqudy.com)