Professional job opportunities  across the UAE increased by 12 per cent year-on-year between the fourth quarter (Q4) of 2012 and the corresponding period of 2013, a report said. Recruitment activity in the professional jobs market increased by 9 per cent from 6,458 vacancies in Q3 to 7,028 in Q4, added the latest UAE Employment Monitor,  a new survey by global recruitment specialist Morgan McKinley. This represents a 12 per cent rise when compared to Q4 2012 when vacancy levels stood at 6,268, the report said. Professionals looking for new positions in Q4 2013 totalled 38,043. This represents a 6 per cent increase on the 35,790 that were seeking work in Q3, and a 14 per cent rise on the 33,476 jobseekers who were searching for new job opportunities in Q4 2012. Trefor Murphy, managing director, Morgan McKinley UAE said: “The UAE economy continues to grow at a steady pace. This is very much reflected in our data from the final quarter of 2013 which points to increases in both available vacancies and professional job seekers . Furthermore, with recent reports showing that Dubai’s stock market surged to a new five year high last week, we are confident that growth will intensify throughout 2014.” “As we highlighted in the last report, the construction market continues to expand, thanks in part to a renewed focus on projects in light of the news that Dubai will host the Expo 2020.  “The UAE has, for example, already committed to investing $7.6 billion in the Dubai Metro and another $3.26 billion on several major road projects. This increased investment has already created the need for business development, tendering, and quantity surveying professionals and we expect this demand to intensify over the coming months,” he added. “Elsewhere the banking sector continues to perform very well. This was particularly evident in December where some banks’ shares increased by an incredible 10-20 per cent that month alone,” Murphy continued. “This growth is expected to have a knock on effect on hiring as we progress through 2014. In the same vein the finance, supply chain and procurement sectors all continue to do well with these three areas showing some of the most impressive growth in the latter months of 2013. “Perhaps the one significant shift we have seen, however, is an increased appetite from employers to bring expertise into the market from overseas – Europe and Canada are two such examples – due to a lack of desired skill sets locally,” he noted. “This is a trend we have not seen for some years and points towards skills shortages in some areas. This is particularly the case if we look at the huge growth in jobseekers entering the hiring market over the last year. Our data reveals a 14 per cent year-on-year rise which indicates that, whilst many professionals have moved into the region in search of work, their skill sets are not necessarily in line with what employers are looking for. “Finally, whilst the demand for PR and sales & marketing professionals flat lined for the majority of 2013, there was a significant increase in requirements for professionals within these areas throughout the last quarter of 2013. This is indicative of renewed confidence in the region as employers begin to invest in this area once again,” Murphy concluded.
By Ravi Kalmady