GNcareers, from Gulf News

Job creation in UAE still high despite lower oil prices

Job creation in UAE still high despite lower oil pricesImage Credit: Supplied

If the decline in crude prices is indeed causing economic issues, it is not being felt yet in the UAE. In fact, employment levels in the country are still up despite lower oil prices.

The latest Credit Agricole Private Banking research report noted that job creation in the UAE even hit a three-month high in May 2015, as new orders and new export orders grew during the same period.

This is in line with the earlier research by, which found that more companies opened up vacancies for jobseekers last month, with the employment index increasing by five per cent in May compared to a year earlier.

Online hiring by companies in the medical field grew by 21 per cent, thanks to the ''positive developments'' in the healthcare sector, such as the upcoming launch of a unified health database for the UAE.

According to Agricole's report, the UAE continued to witness growth despite weaker crude prices, as reflected in the UAE's non-oil private sector Purchasing Manager's Index (PMI), an indicator of the manufacturing industry's economic health.

Dr Paul Wetterwald, chief economist, Credit Agricole Private Banking, said the country's PMI ''did not decline significantly in May (56.4) compared to 56.8 in April.'' ''On the other hand, input costs rose contrasting with a slight decline of the output prices charged by companies.''

''We can say that the UAE is yet to fully feel the pinch of the lower oil prices across its relatively diversified economy in comparison to GCC peers,'' added Wetterwald.

The situation is the same in Saudi Arabia, where output and new orders expanded but the rate of growth and pace of job creation eased somewhat in May.

''It was interesting to note that the Kingdom's headline PMI last month (57.0) was at its lowest level since May 2014. While the most recent data in the PMI series still depicts a growing non-oil private sector economy, our estimate of growth in Saudi Arabia is more conservative.''

Alp Eke, chief economist at the National Bank of Abu Dhabi, said that there is indeed a ''slowdown in economic activity'' in the UAE due to a number of market factors, but the country is far from the recession.

He said that while the oil prices are declining, the UAE is expected to register a fiscal deficit of 3.5 per cent in 2015 and the US dollar is strengthening against all the major currencies. The number of tourists from Europe, especially Russian visitors, is also declining due to weakened ruble, causing occupancy rates to drop.

On a positive note, Eke said, there are still a number of Chinese tourists visiting Dubai, while a nuclear deal with Iran would ''definitely normalise international relations and boost bilateral trade between UAE.''

''In my opinion, we should be concerned [about the situation] but also use [it] to our advantage. It is a perfect chance to remove the burden, excessive waste. GCC nations have already started cutting down on wasteful subsidies.''

Also read on more UAE companies hiring staff on a temporary basis

Source: Cleofe Maceda, Senior Web Reporter,