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Sat 5 Mar 2011 10:27 AM

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Fewer UAE firms hiring compared to six months ago - survey

Recruitment firm Antal says 46% taking on new staff, down 7% on Sept 2010

Fewer UAE firms hiring compared to six months ago - survey
Fewer UAE firms are hiring now compared to six months ago. (Getty Images)

Fewer companies in the UAE are seen to be hiring now compared to six months ago but more firms are retaining staff, according to a new survey.

About 46 percent of companies in the UAE surveyed are currently hiring, down from 53 percent in the last Snapshot poll in September 2010, recruitment firm Antal said.

The survey also showed that only 10 percent of UAE organisations are currently letting managerial staff go.

The rest of the current hiring figures in the Middle East and Gulf region were high. Saudi Arabia had the highest hiring levels, 76 percent of companies are currently hiring. The percentage of organisations hiring in Qatar was at 73 percent.

The quarterly survey of hiring and firing trends around the world has found that hiring levels in the professional and managerial sector in the UAE have decreased slightly but look set to improve over the coming quarter.

Antal surveyed more than 14,000 organisations in 47 countries on whether they were currently hiring and firing at professional and managerial level. It then asked whether they planned to do so in the coming quarter.

"This survey has unveiled new opportunities like hiring potential in banking and construction sector which are otherwise thought to be sluggish. Over 60 percent companies in these sectors are looking to hire in next quarter" says Antal Gulf CEO, Nizar Lallani.

"Hiring in Energy, FMCG, Leisure, Retail and Technology remain strong being core sectors in the Gulf region."

Antal CEO Tony Goodwin added: "The good news globally is that the employment market is finally rightsizing and steadying. Although current recruitment activity is down by 7% from last quarter, this is matched by the percentage of organisations letting staff go, which has also dropped by 7% from 23% last quarter.

"Effectively, this means that recruitment activity is down slightly because staff retention is up, and less staff turnover equals a more stable global market."

Last month, GulfTalent.com said private sector salaries in the Gulf are expected to rise at an average rate of 6.6 percent this year, as employers fight to retain talent against rising demand from Asia.

Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Oman are expected to see average wage rises of 7.2 and 7.0 percent, in a bid to draw employees from Dubai’s talent pool, it added.

Salaries in the UAE are forecast to rise by 6.3 percent, higher than those in Kuwait and Bahrain that are expected to increase by 5.9 percent and 5.1 percent respectively.

The survey, which polled 32,000 staff and 1,400 companies across the six Gulf states, said the rising economic might of Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Asia was driving labour changes in the region.

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