With the globe still reeling under the scourge of recession and people of over 100 countries still finding it difficult to find jobs, the Sultanate has bucked the trend with Omanis quite optimistic on the job front. Around 69 per cent of Oman's residents think that it is the right time to find a job, a new Gallup survey shows. In tune with their Omani counterparts, 69 per cent of Saudi Arabia's residents too have a similar opinion. "With global appetite for oil continuing to rise, Oman,  Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Kuwait have continued to shelter their residents from the recessionary pressures felt in other countries," the leading United States opinion poll organisation said on Monday.
The Gallup survey was conducted in 146 countries in 2011. Incidentally, these results come shortly after nearly nine in 10 residents of Oman and Qatar have said that their national economies  are getting better, making them the most optimistic among the 16 countries Gallup surveyed in the Middle East and North Africa in 2011. The residents of Lebanon, Iraq, Yemen, the Palestinian Territories and Bahrain figure among the least optimistic in the survey.
"This is great news for us as the Manpower Ministry continues its employment drive in the private sector. According to statistics, the number of workers appointed till June 2012 stood at 30,647 and another 1,477 were appointed as trainees. This data shows that the ministry is determined to recruit national manpower in various sectors," a senior official of the Ministry of Manpower said yesterday. The total number of Omani nationals working in the private sector has touched more than 210,000 as of June 2012. In early 2011, His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said had ordered all private sector companies to co-operate with the national decision of providing 50,000 jobs to Omani nationals.
Regarding the job market survey, the Gallup says that 57 per cent of adults worldwide, on an average, said it was a bad time to find a job in their local communities, while 33 per cent said it was a good time. EU most pessimistic Europeans were the most pessimistic, with 72 per cent saying it was a bad time. Optimism was highest in the Americas, where a still dismal 38 per cent said it was a good time. Indians were only a little more optimistic than the average adult worldwide with 52 per cent saying it was a bad time and only 36 per cent saying it was a good time. The Middle East countries took four of the top spots in the world where residents were most positive about the job market. Oman and Saudi Arabia were followed closely by Panama, Qatar and Singapore.
Regarding Egypt, the survey says that the ongoing political turmoil following the ouster of former president Hosni Mubarak has deeply affected tourism, manufacturing and construction industries and has shaken Egyptians' confidence in their economy. "Nearly nine in 10 Egyptians say it is a bad time to find a job; these negative perceptions are likely to continue throughout 2012 as the country works to establish its first post-Mubarak government," the report elaborates. Six of the 10 countries with the most negative outlook are EU countries, with Greeks and the Irish nearly universally saying it was a bad time to find a job. In Oman, the data was collected between May and October, 2011 where more than 2,000 people were interviewed.