Dubai: Companies in the consumer goods industry produced the most number of new jobs in the third quarter of the year, fuelled by huge spending among residents in the UAE.
The latest Monster Employment Index (MEI), which tracks hundreds of job listings online, showed that while the overall hiring landscape remains subdued, businesses in the consumer goods sector continued to recruit new staff.
The number of vacancies offered by organisations in the industry, including those dealing in fast-moving consumer goods, food, home appliances, garments, textiles, leather, gems and jewellery, went up by 14 per cent in September from the previous quarter and 44 per cent from a year earlier. Overall online recruitment remained weak, declining by eight per cent quarter-on-quarter.
According to the creators of the jobs index, the consumer goods sector has been showing positive growth since the beginning of the year and leading the table for employment growth. The sector is apparently riding the boom in consumer spending which, according to the latest analysis, topped $183 billion (Dh672 billion) in 2016.
A report released by Dubai Chamber of Commerce had earlier highlighted that expenditures of households in the country are set to increase at a rate of 7 per cent per year over the next five years. Average consumer spending per household in the UAE, pegged at more than $100,000, is also said to be the highest in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) region.
“The UAE has always been driven by an active consumer culture catalysed by a fast-growing population armed with a high disposable income,” noted Sanjay Modi, managing director of Monster.com, Asia Pacific and Middle East.
“The recent report by Dubai Chamber reaffirms the healthy relationship between the consumer goods sector and consumption habits in the UAE. This notion is reflected by the consistent performance of the consumer goods industry throughout the year on the [index],” Modi added.
Analysts, however, have said that while consumer spending in the country continues to rise, it’s been moving at a rather slow pace. According to Euromonitor International estimates, consumers in the country are expected to spend Dh712 billion this year, up by just 0.9 per cent from 2016.
“Slowdown in consumer expenditure has shadowed the impact of lower oil prices impacting business entities, resulting in downsizing activities as well as lowered frequency of new hires in various sectors such as banking and energy sectors, following effects from last year’s challenging economic scenario,” said Rabia Yasmeen, Euromonitor research analyst.
According to Monster.com, the other industries that are also doing well and posting more vacancies than their peers are production and manufacturing, where job listings went up by 14 per cent from the second quarter. Recruitment activity among companies in the chemicals industry also increased by 8 per cent in September compared to June.
Telecommunications companies and schools, or the education industry, hired more staff as well, with online listings rising by 5 per cent and 3 per cent, respectively. Businesses in retail (trade and logistics) registered a six per cent increase.
In terms of occupations that are highly sought after, marketing and communications roles led the table with a 28 per cent growth.
Candidates with qualifications in software were in demand as well, as online listings in this category went up by 16 per cent. Hiring for engineering and production personnel has stabilised, recording no increase during the period, while sales and business development, and human resources and administration recorded incurred two of the biggest declines in demand at 28 per cent and 22 per cent, respectively.