A survey conducted by one of the GCC’s leading online recruitment portals, GulfTalent, shows that jobs in the GCC are expected to grow exponentially.
However, this might not happen without a few caveats, especially those related to the growing unemployment rate among expatriates, age, and gender diversity bias.
Age groups haven’t changed in the past few years, with the highest demand being among those in their mid-30s and with younger professionals being the most competitive, as per GulfTalent’s findings.
Both Bahrain and Kuwait are the leading female-to-male ratio, with one woman to two men.
Saudi Arabia is following suit, as the new transformations have created more opportunities for both female and male workers in the country. Tamadar bint Yousef Al-Rahman told the UN that Saudi Arabia is helping grow the female workforce from 22% to 30% in the near future, as per the Crown Prince’s “Vision 2030”. Moreover, companies such as Uber and “employers in SMEs have a larger preference towards women than men”, GulfTalent reported in its recent survey.
Saudi has had a 2% decrease in job growth.
“The workforce doesn’t exist, yet,” said GulfTalent and added that “more expatriates are leaving, but fewer Saudis are filling those spots.”
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Where to work?
Oman followed Saudi’s plans and has seen opposite effects, having a 2% increase in job opportunities. Due to Omanisation policies, companies are restrained from hiring expats and are hiring more Omani citizens.
UAE and Kuwait are witnessing the highest growth in the job market, having employment rates of 13% and 18% respectively, whether in the tourism and oil sectors or new SMEs. According to the IMF in Kuwait, the region is expected to have the fastest economic growth this year. On a side note, UAE is seeing an increase in job offers as well, thanks to the recovery of Abu Dhabi’s oil sector, but also thanks to Dubai’s booming tourism sector and its recent spending on Expo 2020.
Overall, there is an average 9% job growth in GCC.
Businesses all over the region are expanding, with the oil and gas sectors seeing the biggest increase of approximately 39% in the workforce, as reported in GulfTalent’s survey.
Enterprises are bulletproof
The introduction of a bankruptcy rule, as reported by Arab News, is allowing entrepreneurs to take more risks and have more confidence, which has lead to the huge growth in the job market.
The healthcare and banking sectors are also seeing a “healthy” amount of growth. “Due to the growing domestic population,” said GulfTalent.
However, the fast-moving consumer goods sectors (FMCGs) are witnessing a slow growth, in GulfTalent’s opinion, partly due to the Value-Added Tax (VAT) implementation in the UAE and Saudi Arabia. FMCG registered only a 6% growth in the labor force.
Moreover, the construction sector in Dubai mainly underperforms because of the property market overflowing with empty houses, as reported by Arabian Business, as well as high prices. That has delayed payments and posed a serious cash flow challenge to firms, said GulfTalent
All these enterprises are looking for one skill in high demand: Finance professionals. The introduction of VAT has forced institutions into updating their finance processes and systems, which explains that high demand.
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The second most requested professionals are Human Resource managers, as firms have drastically reduced their HR teams in the last three years.
Marketing professionals are the third most requested, with companies trying to find ways to gain clients with new strategies such as social media, as per GulfTalents claims.