By Andy Sambidge
Online jobs giant says index for region fell last month but Saudi Arabia leads growth since Nov 2010
Recruitment activity in the GCC fell significantly in April compared to the previous month and was flat over the last six months, according to latest data supplied by recruitment firm Monster Worldwide.
Saudi Arabia led the way in the region for job opportunities, the agency’s employment index, which tracks online job ads across the region, said.
It showed that the kingdom saw a 10 percent growth in vacancies between November 2010 and April 2011.
However, growth across the regional index, which measures all GCC nations and Egypt, was flat for the six-month period.
And the index also indicated a significant drop off in recruitment activity in April, compared to the previous month, dropping from a score of 114 to just 99.
Sanjay Modi, managing director (India/Middle East/South East Asia), Monster.com, said: "Middle East employers eased up on recruitment activity in April, following particularly heated hiring sessions in the preceding months.
"It is unclear how large a role seasonal recruitment cycles play into the latest patterns seen in the Monster Employment Index, but it is clear that the job market has remained relatively strong over Q1 and continues to remain heated for key sectors like IT, healthcare, production, and engineering."
The Monster Employment Index showed that online opportunities in April exceeded the level in November 2010 in six of the 12 industries monitored.
Healthcare was the best performing category with a rise of 25 percent, followed by production/manufacturing, automotive and ancillary (up 12 percent).
However retail/trade and Logistics saw a significant 31 percent downswing in recruitment activity in the last six months.
While Saudi Arabia recorded the highest growth in recruitment activity, Qatar (five percent) and Oman (four percent) also posted growth.
Job activity fell in Kuwait by two percent, in the UAE by 10 percent and in Bahrain, which has seen the most serious unrest in the GCC, by 16 percent.
However, Egypt (down 25 percent) saw online hiring fall the furthest in the six month period.
In the UAE, the index showed that jobs in hospitality rebounded, mirroring an upturn in the country's tourism industry.