Qatar’s job market has shrunk over the past year, with vacancies posted online apparently falling 25 percent from June 2015 to June 2016, according to new research.
The analysis, put together by recruitment firm Monster, follows a year of mass layoffs by big firms in Qatar, and reports of a shrinking professional expat class in the country.
Many of the cuts were the result of government spending curbs amid low oil prices.
Qatar wasn’t the only one in the region to be affected, though it was among those hardest hit, according to Sanjay Modi, managing director of APAC and the Middle East at Monster.com.
In a statement, he said:
“The results of (the) Monster Employment Index (MEI) mirror the adverse impact of rising economic uncertainty in the region.
Clearly, employers are adopting a much more cautious and risk-averse approach to hiring.”
Second worst performer in the GCC
To arrive at its figures, MEI analyzed job advertisements posted online from a “large selection” of recruitment websites around the region.
It found that while job vacancies in the GCC region have decreased by an average of 21 percent over the past year, Qatar’s neighbors Bahrain and the UAE are bucking the trend.
Vacancies in these two countries rose by 23 percent and 10 percent, respectively, between June 2015 and June 2016.
In the UAE, healthcare and retail were especially growing markets for online postings.
“We expect this positive trend to continue, especially in the UAE which is seen by economists as the most promising economy in MENA,” Sanjay Modi said.
Squeeze on professional jobs
The drop in vacancies appear to be affecting mostly professional, white-collar positions in Qatar.
This has had a knock-on effect in the housing market. According to real estate analysts, vacancy rates for luxury and mid-range apartments are going up.
Meanwhile, despite the departure of thousands of professionals in recent months, Qatar’s population has continued to climb this year.
One reason for this may be that firms in Qatar are now focusing on hiring more unskilled laborers, as the country works to complete large infrastructure projects like the Doha Metro.
Recruiting these workers is usually done via agencies, instead of online advertisements.
Have you noticed fewer available job postings in Qatar this year? Thoughts?