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| 17 November, 2017

Job vacancies rise across Middle East

Jobseekers stand in line to talk with a recruiter at a booth at a job fair in Riyadh, January 29, 2012.

Jobseekers stand in line to talk with a recruiter at a booth at a job fair in Riyadh, January 29, 2012.

REUTERS/Fahad Shadeed

Middle East jobs growth was strongest in the legal and banking and financial services sector.

Middle East jobs growth was strongest in the legal and banking and financial services sector.

Job vacancies for professionals across the Middle East increased by 5.5 per cent between the second and third quarter of 2017, the latest Robert Walters Middle East Jobs Index has revealed.

Jobs growth was strongest in the legal and banking and financial services sector at 17 per cent and 14 per cent, respectively. On the other hand, the accounting and finance sectors saw a decline of five per cent in advertised jobs for professionals. The number of advertised job vacancies for professionals, across accountancy and finance, banking and financial services, legal, sales and marketing, in the UAE rose by six per cent in the third quarter of 2017 compared to the second quarter of 2017.

The number of advertised job vacancies for professionals, across accountancy and finance, banking and financial services, legal, sales and marketing in Saudi Arabia rose by five per cent in the third quarter compared to the second quarter, despite overall decreases of 32 per cent year-on-year. "Market conditions remain tough in the professional space across the Middle East. Nevertheless, we have seen a significant increase in roles post summer and we are optimistic that we will see a stronger fourth quarter," said Jason Grundy, country head at Robert Walters Middle East. "It is positive to see growth in the senior professional market quarter on quarter. However, this is from a low base after a particularly quiet summer across the Middle East."

"The year-on-year is so acute because the third quarter of 2016 was the high point in terms of jobs advertised in the recent short term cycle," Grundy added. "Post-summer, the market has picked up significantly and we expect strong results in the fourth quarter of 2017. The Saudi job numbers have accelerated overall quicker than the UAE. We believe this is because of the recent announcements in line with the Saudi Vision 2030. The UAE job postings have also increased and the expansion of the non-oil sector appears to be driving this trend."

Grundy also noted that both the private practice and in-house markets were unexpectedly quiet over the summer. The bigger private practice firms, with a broad regional reach, have benefited from an up tick in deals and projects getting the green light or coming back online. Finance teams have also benefited from increased activity on projects.

"Positive feel in the market at the moment and Q4 job numbers are expected to be the best for the year," he said.

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