UAE private companies cut jobs at fastest pace in decade

An Emirati

An Emirati man looks out from the Dubai Creek Habour Development towards the Burj Khalifa tower (centre) and other skyscrapers in Dubai (file). Real-estate prices in Dubai have fallen about 22% since the end of 2014, according to data from the Bank of International Settlements.

Companies in the UAE’s non-oil private sector cut jobs at the fastest pace in almost a decade as lower crude prices and a struggling property market dented business confidence. The employment tracker in Emirates NBD Purchasing Managers’ Index fell to 47.5 last month, its lowest level since August 2009, according to a report compiled by IHS Markit for Emirates NBD PJSC. The PMI for the UAE fell to 53.4 in February from 56.3 in January, and was the lowest reading since October 2016. While economic growth in the UAE is expected to accelerate to 3.1% this year from an estimated 2.9% in 2018, softer oil prices and a weak real-estate market are putting pressure on jobs. Real-estate prices in Dubai have fallen about 22% since the end of 2014, according to data from the Bank of International Settlements.


Almost 9% of businesses surveyed said they had lower headcount compared with January, it said. “Some firms reported operating with the minimum level of staffing in a bid to keep costs down,” according to the report. “Staff costs were broadly unchanged last month, again reflecting a relatively soft job market.” Saudi Arabia’s job market is also under pressure.The employment index in the biggest Arab economy was the lowest level in nearly five years. Employment in the kingdom’s private sector was “broadly unchanged” with less than 1% of firms saying they increased hiring.

Sources and photo-credits: Bloomberg, Gulf Times