x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 22 January 2018

More UAE employers seeking new workers

A survey shows nearly half of employers are likely to hire workers within the next three months.

Nearly half of the employers in the UAE are likely to hire workers within the next three months, a survey showed, a signal that an economic recovery is beginning to take hold. One quarter of the senior executives in the Emirates surveyed last month said they would be definitely seeking new employees and another 23 per cent said they would probably be expanding their workforce in the next three months, according to the first Jobs Index survey released by bayt.com and YouGovSiraj yesterday.

"This is a good sign," said Vivek Wagle, a research director with YouGovSiraj in Dubai. "In a situation of recession and job losses, a substantial proportion of people say they are going to hire definitely in the next three months. It's not fast, but it is slowly getting on track." Tens of thousands of jobs have been lost in the UAE in the financial and property sectors during the past year because of the global economic downturn. The latest came from Dubai World, which announced last month it would eliminate 12,000 jobs from its global workforce in a restructuring move aimed at saving US$800 million (Dh2.93 billion). Senior bankers in the UAE have warned of a second wave of job cuts continuing into next year.

The UAE ranked below the regional average, according to the survey, which showed that 52 per cent of the employers in the MENA region were definitely, or likely to be, seeking new employees in the next three months. Overall, some 26 per cent of the 5,084 senior executives or human resources managers surveyed said they would definitely be hiring, while another 26 per cent said they would probably be doing so. Of those definitely or likely to hire in the next three months, 42 per cent of respondents said there would be fewer than five jobs on offer.

Lebanon was the most optimistic country, with 30 per cent of respondents saying they were definitely hiring and another 34 per cent saying they were probably hiring between this month and January. Saudi Arabia ranked highest in the Gulf region, with 31 per cent of employers definitely hiring in the next three months and 27 per cent likely to do so. The UAE ranked among the lowest of the 13 countries surveyed. Morocco came in last, with just 43 per cent planning to take on new workers in the next three months.

In the longer term, two thirds of regional employers say they will be hiring within the next year. Thirty-six per cent have definite plans to bring in new staff over that span while 30 per cent say they will likely expand their workforce in the next 12 months. @Email:aligaya@thenational.ae