What economic slowdown? These sectors are still recruiting
The latest Monster Employment Index showed a 25 per cent jump in staff hiring within the consumer goods sector. (Shutterstock)
Continued spending by UAE consumers amid the economic slowdown has helped boost hiring activity in certain industries, the latest data showed.
Although the UAE’s overall labour landscape still looks subdued, recruitment is still going on in businesses that make up the consumer goods sector, including retailers and supermarket operators.
The latest Monster Employment Index showed a 25 per cent jump in staff hiring within the industry, which also covers companies dealing with home appliances, garments, textiles, leather, gems and jewellery.
Sanjay Modi, the company’s managing director for the Asia Pacific and Middle East, said the latest data suggest that the confidence levels of UAE residents, as well as their spending habits, have improved despite the current economic climate.
“The consumer goods market in general is relatively shielded from unstable economic conditions because there is always a need for daily products, such as consumables and textile,” Modi told Gulf News.
“In the UAE specifically, residents are becoming more conscious about what they are eating and are making more efforts to cook at home which may explain why the food and packaged food industries showed growth,” he said.
The trend reflects the latest Nielsen report, which recorded a five-point increase in the consumer confidence index for the UAE during the second quarter of the year.
It doesn’t mean that the market dynamics have changed, however. “Consumers [are still] cautiously optimistic about spending intentions. They continue to be prudent with their expenses, especially when it comes to spending on new clothes, out-of-home entertainment and out-of-home dining,” said Arslan Ashraf, managing director, Nielsen Arabian Peninsula and Pakistan.
The job index also showed that recruitment is going on in the production, manufacturing and automotive industries, with listings increasing by 8 per cent.
Also defying the slowdown are companies in the engineering, construction and real estate sector, which registered a 6 per cent increase in online hiring.
In terms of professionals that are in demand today, those with experience and qualifications in healthcare are being sought after. Recruitment of candidates in the medical field went up by 12 per cent, while the hiring of engineering and production personnel increased by 7 per cent.
If the online job postings in all the other industries were taken into account, however, the total number of vacancies in the UAE was estimated to have declined by 22 per cent in July compared to the same period in 2015.
The decline is the first negative growth recorded in the UAE since the beginning of the year, with companies in the hospitality; oil and gas; and banking, financial services and insurance posting decreases of 38 per cent, 33 per cent and 22 per cent, respectively.
By Cleofe Maceda
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