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Sun 31 Jan 2010 07:29 AM

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GCC employers more upbeat over 2010 prospects - survey

New poll reveals big shift in optimism among business chiefs, staff hiring back on agenda.

A majority of employers in the GCC are more positive about hiring staff in 2010 compared to last year, according to a new survey conducted by BAC Middle East.

The survey revealed that attitudes towards the regional business environment were upbeat with 59 percent of respondents describing themselves as "fairly optimistic" about the year ahead.

Another 31 percent described themselves as "optimistic" and and five percent said they were "very optimistic", Emirates Business reported on Sunday, citing the survey.

However, while the figures represented a significant change from last year's survey, respondents from the real estate and construction sectors were still cautious about 2010 prospects.

The survey backs up the views earlier this month of the Arabian Business Think Tank, whose members unanimously voted against further jobs cuts this year.

Siobhan O'Reilly, recruitment manager at BAC Middle East, told the paper: "The generally positive sentiments were expressed across almost all industries and there was no single sector that stood out in terms of hiring.

"The main exceptions were some real estate developers and firms in the construction and construction materials sectors, that were relatively more negative in their outlook," she added.

In terms of the outlook for employment, 54 percent said they expected their organisation to do some hiring this year, up from 37 percent in 2009.

35 percent indicated that they would "possibly" recruit in 2010 while only 11 percent of respondents ruled out any hiring in the next 12 months, which was a significant reduction from 27 percent last year.

About 76 percent of respondents expected "no significant change" in general salary levels over the coming year, with only 21 percent anticipating any increases, the survey added.

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