Abdulrahman Al Ansari comments on new figures which suggest that employment in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) rose significantly throughout 2015.
The UAE’s Ministry of Labour (MoL) recently released Emirati employment statistics for 2015. According to the Khaleej Times, an online Middle East news portal, there are now 4.7 million workers registered with the MoL, meaning that Emirati employment increased by 6% last year. Commenting on these statistics Humaid bin Deemas Al Suwaidi, Undersecretary of Labour Affairs, said:
“Labour market statistics show an increase in employment numbers last year, and the proportion of skilled talents has grown as well. Employment at knowledge-based economy sectors has shown great results, which reflects and confirms the strength and diversity of the national economy and government policies.”
“The number of registered employees at the Ministry of Labour reached about 4.7 million by the end of last year, compared to 4.417 million workers in 2014… The rate of employment growth in the private sector is high compared to the rates worldwide, which ranges from 1% to 2%. This indicates that the labour market in the country is one of the most attractive.”
Breaking it down
Continuing, he explained: “The percentage of workers registered at the ministry with fourth and fifth skill levels are around 79% of the total employment, while the number of workers enjoying first, second and third levels reached about one million – 21%, a rate that rose upwards over the last three years. In 2013 the numbers reached about 20% and in 2014 it reached about 20.5%. The number of skilled talents in the past year recorded an overall growth of about 12%.”
For the second consecutive year, the UAE’s health sector recorded the highest growth and employment rates of all Emirati sectors. Explaining, the Undersecretary said: “Around 68,000 of the new workers are employed in the health sector, recording an employment increase of about 18% last year, followed by the financial sector with 57,000 employees recording an employment growth rate of 13% while the education sector which saw 79,000 employments had a growth rate of about 7%.”
Moving away from oil
The Emirates contains 10% of the world’s crude oil reserves. The UAE has traditionally been an oil based-economy, but global oil prices have been falling for more than a year, recently reaching a 13-year low of US$27 per barrel. Statistics quoted by Arabian Business, a regional news site, show that the UAE is gradually moving away from oil. It accounted for 79% of Emirati gross domestic product (GDP) in 1980, but this decreased to 31% by 2014.
Figures quoted by Gulf Business show that the UAE’s economy is expected to have grown by 3.9% in 2015. Real oil GDP is expected to have expanded by 1.6% last year, down from 4% the year before. However non-oil growth was higher and is expected to hit 5.5% in 2016. Therefore the MoL’s figures show that the UAE’s drive to develop a post-oil economy is already boosting employment numbers and increasing Emirati economic growth.
About Abdulrahman Al Ansari
Abdulrahman Al Ansari has more than 18 years of experience in the global financial services industry. He serves as the chairman of a number of reputable financial firms including AMA Investment Holding and Bid Capital Management Consultancy.
Abdulrahman’s professional portfolio encompasses a diverse range of sectors from commodities and natural resources to education, healthcare, oil & gas and investment banking. He has earned a reputation as an innovator, who consistently develops new ideas and solutions to address the complex and demanding challenges which confront his clients every day. Over the years, Abdulrahman has cultivated a special interest in the continued economic and community development of the UAE.