UAE jobs: Hiring increases in local market, jobseekers demand more flexibility

The growth in job market was seen in a majority of the sectors including aviation, real estate, travel and tourism and many others


Sahim Salim


Waheed Abbas

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Published: Mon 17 Jul 2023, 6:00 AM

Last updated: Mon 17 Jul 2023, 10:25 PM

Hiring has increased in the UAE after declining at the beginning of the year amidst the correction phase of the local job market.

“While the country witnessed a decline at the beginning of this year, the hiring rate increased by 4.2 per cent in May compared to the same time last year, and has remarkably grown 46 per cent compared to pre-pandemic May 2019 – a testament to job market recovery and the emergence of new opportunities,” said Ali Matar, head of EMEA growth markets, LinkedIn.

The UAE’s job market grew exponentially in the post-pandemic period after companies began to expand to meet the growth in demand for their products and services. This growth was seen in a majority of the sectors including aviation, real estate, travel and tourism and many others.

This was also reflected in the latest S&P Global UAE Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI), a survey designed to give an overview of the private sector, which showed the UAE’s job market continued to expand and create more opportunities for jobseekers, growing for the 14th consecutive month in June as non-oil sectors' growth accelerated last month.

Tug-of-war: Employer vs employee

The UAE jobs market is undergoing an interesting evolution where employers are becoming less flexible while jobseekers have still flexibility as one of their top priorities.

LinkedIn said remote job postings declined by 4.1 per cent in May, the 13th consecutive month, but hybrid job postings saw an extraordinary increase of 25.2 per cent in May 2023 compared to the same time last year.

“On the work flexibility front, one of the perks of the pandemic, we witnessed a disconnect between what employers are instituting and what employees are demanding. While employers look to reduce work flexibility (as demonstrated by LinkedIn research that showed that 44 per cent of UAE executives plan to do so in 2023), jobseekers are still prioritising flexible jobs,” said Matar.

In order to build resilient and successful businesses that come out on top, Matar stressed that employers will have to re-examine their work model to attract and retain top talent.

Ali Matar pointed out that despite a rapidly changing hiring landscape, the UAE labour market remains tight by historical standards, meaning there are opportunities for people with the right skills.

“That precisely is the future of work: Placing the right person with the right skills in the right position,” he added.


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