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September 2023 Hiring Overview for Middle East: Unpacking Trends with the foundit Insights Tracker

Hiring Trends: An Overview 

The foundit Insights Tracker (fit) painted a nuanced picture of the job market in the Middle East in September ‘23. Despite experiencing an overall decline of 5% annually in online recruitment activity, there are noteworthy developments within specific industries and countries.   

The tracker also saw a marginal MoM decline in hiring.   

Country-Specific Data (MoM) 

Qatar: Showed a modest increase with a 2% MoM growth, indicating a positive turn in hiring activities. 

Egypt: Faced a 3% MoM decline, suggesting challenges in the job market. 

Kingdom of Saudi Arabia: Experienced a slight dip with a 1% MoM decrease, marking a momentary pause in its generally positive trajectory. 

Oman: Reported a significant 9% MoM increase, standing out as a strong performer in the region. 

Bahrain: Posted a 2% MoM growth, continuing its steady hiring activity. 

Kuwait: Registered a 4% MoM decline, highlighting some concerns in its employment landscape. 

United Arab Emirates: Contrary to its longer-term trends, UAE posted an impressive 10% MoM growth, potentially signaling a turnaround. 

Sector-wise Trends  (YoY) 

Out of the 12 industries monitored by the tracker, five exhibited YoY growth. 

High-Growth Industries: 

Oil and Gas: +20% 

Engineering, Construction, and Real Estate: +19% 

Declining Industries: 

IT and Telecom/ISP: -34% 

Education: -9% 

Hiring Trends by Functional Area (YoY) 

Online recruitment surpassed the previous year’s levels in 4 out of the 11 occupation groups. 

In Demand: 

Engineering and Production: +9% 

Healthcare: +5% 

Facing Challenges: 

Software, Hardware & Telecom: -23% 

Sales & Business Development: -10% 

Deep Dive: KSA and UAE 

Kingdom of Saudi Arabia: A Meteoric Rise 

Annual Growth: A stunning 18% YoY increase in September 

Sector-wise Trend 

Advertising, MR, PR soar with a 29% annual growth, while IT and Telecom/ISP decline by 45%. 

Roles: Sales and BD flourish at +15%, whereas Purchase/Logistics/Supply Chain lags, dropping 32%. 

United Arab Emirates: A Mixed Bag 

Annual Dip: A significant 33% YoY decrease in hiring, though sectors like Retail/Trade and Logistics buck the trend with +84% growth. 

Sector-wise Trend  

BFSI records the steepest decline at -27%. 

Roles: Engineering and Production lead with +12%, but Sales & BD falls behind at -40%. 


September 2023 offers a mixed landscape in terms of hiring in the Middle East. While sectors like Oil and Gas and Engineering are booming, the IT and Telecom sectors continue to struggle.  

Oman and KSA are showing potential, but countries like the UAE face significant challenges. The fluctuations in the job market underscore the importance of adaptability and skills development for individuals and strategic planning for businesses. 

About the foundit Insights Tracker 

The foundit Insights Tracker provides monthly and annual data on hiring trends across multiple sectors and countries in the Middle East. For those keen on understanding the pulse of the job market, stay tuned for future updates. 

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