Job demand in the UAE grew last month compared to the same period last year even though the price of Brent crude oil has nearly halved since then.
The pace of demand grew 5 per cent year-on-year, according to Monster Employment Index UAE. The data is based on online job postings from employers on the online job portal Monster.com in seven countries in the Middle East.
Reflecting a slowdown in the construction sector, activity fell by 23 per cent in the engineering, construction and property sectors, followed by a 19 per cent drop in the oil and gas sectors. This is in line with the rest of the Middle East, where hiring demand in the manufacturing, automotive and oil and gas sectors has dipped.
Recruitment in the consumer goods, garments and jewellery industries fell by 9 per cent.
IT and telecoms registered the steepest growth in hiring demand in the UAE year-on-year at 23 per cent, followed by health care with 21 per cent.
“We attribute the growth in online hiring to positive developments in the healthcare sector, such as the upcoming launch of the unified national health base, which would make the UAE the first country in the region to have a unified national health database,” said Sanjay Modi, the regional managing director at Monster.com.
The demand for specialist doctors fell 5 per cent last month on Monster.com.
“We believe the decline in demand for specialists indicates the healthcare sector is looking to hire for a variety of occupations, such as IT specialists, marketing and communications experts or accountants,” Mr Modi said. The UAE is facing a shortage of specialists as healthcare groups such as Abu Dhabi-based NMC Health and Dubai’s DM Healthcare open new hospitals and clinics and the capital’s Al Noor Hospitals expands.
The chains are also recruiting doctors. Al Noor, for instance, expects to add at least 60 physicians this year. It employed 534 doctors at the end of last year.
On average, the market has registered a 20 to 25 per cent increase in salaries for specialist doctors compared to a year earlier. The UAE is facing a shortage of specialists in pediatrics, general surgery, cardiology and gynaecology, said Ahmed Faiyaz, EY’s transaction advisory services healthcare leader for the Middle East and North Africa.
“Given the population growth, upcoming health facilities in Dubai and Northern Emirates and increase in demand due to mandatory health insurance implementation, there is also a significant projected shortfall in supply for primary care and general practice, anesthesia, radiology and psychiatry,” he said.
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