Professional job opportunities across the United Arab Emirates increased by 6% between Q2 2012 and Q2 2013 according to a new survey by recruitment specialist Morgan McKinley.
The first edition of this new quarterly report, which tracks professional vacancies, jobseekers and average salaries across the UAE, is the latest addition to Morgan McKinley’s established ‘Employment Monitor’ series, which also includes reports on the Republic of Ireland and London’s Financial Services sector.
UAE Employment Monitor Highlights
Professional job vacancies rose by 6% between Q2 2012 to Q2 2013.
Between Q1 2013 and Q2 2013, there was a 2% increase in new jobs.
The number of professional jobseekers rose by 3% between Q1 2013 to Q2 2013.
Year-on-year, the number of professionals looking for work increased by 18%.
Hiring market improves
Recruitment activity in the professional jobs market increased by 2% between Q1 2013 and Q2 2013 – there were 6,189 jobs recorded in Q1 and 6,310 in Q2. This represents a 6% rise when compared to Q2 2012 when vacancy levels stood at 5,861.
Professionals looking for new positions in Q2 2013 totalled 32,760. This represents a 3% increase on the 31,898 that were seeking work in Q1, and an 18% rise on the 27,790 jobseekers  who were searching for new job opportunities in Q2 2012.
As financial institutions begin to invest in infrastructure at levels last seen in 2008, the UAE’s ‘building boom’  is having a positive effect on employment levels within the construction sector, as well as the industries that supply it.
Trefor Murphy, Managing Director, Morgan McKinley UAE commented, “As borrowing costs fall and international liquidity rushes back, Dubai in particular has witnessed the revival of development projects that were shelved during the financial crisis such as the expansion of the Business Bay Canal.
“In fact, last year the UAE ousted Saudi Arabia as the biggest construction market in the Gulf with $16.2bn worth of contracts awarded in 2012, 4% more than the oil-rich kingdom. This has created demand for architects, surveyors civil engineers and project managers. And as demand for both commercial and domestic property continues to climb, I don’t anticipate this trend reversing.”
Emiratisation– the nationalisation programme introduced by the UAE Government to ensure that companies recruit a specified quota of locals - has had a direct impact on sourcing talent locally. Specifically, the initiative has led to opportunities arising for graduates who are UAE nationals.
“Where roles do not require Arabic however, it can be more challenging for employers to factor this legislation into their hiring decisions. This is an area where we have been providing assistance to many of our clients”, Murphy added.
The increase in professionals open to moving job roles is a result of generally improved confidence  across the region, with GDP growth at 4% and projected to rise to 6% in 2014.
“For professional jobs, the UAE remains an employers’ market. But for the first time in four or five years, hiring managers are looking externally to source the best talent and this positive outlook is certainly filtering down to jobseekers”, Murphy also noted.
“We don’t expect to see any significant fall in the number of available jobs over Q3, but the market is likely to become more steadyas business confidence and renewed investment continue to gradually climb.”