Online Job Posting Grows in Arab Countries

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By Jenny David  

Aug. 5—Online job postings grew in five of seven Middle Eastern countries and in eight of 11 occupational groups in the past year, according to the Monster Employment Index (MEI), a monthly survey of online job postings in the Middle East.

The United Arab Emirates led the trend with 25 percent growth, followed closely by Egypt at 23 percent. The Egyptian online market has grown most consistently, the index found, with double-digit year-on-year growth rates registered monthly since May 2013.

Online recruitment grew at a slower but still steady rate in Oman, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia, held flat in Bahrain and fell by 5 percent in Qatar, the first drop in that country since March 2012, according to MEI. Regional growth in online recruitment has averaged 23 percent since June 2013.

Hospitality and Service Sectors Show Greatest Growth

The hospitality industry—“a key driver of economic growth and diversification for many Gulf countries,” according to Sanjay Modi, managing director of—led all other sectors in long-term growth. Including the travel industry, the sector registered a 59 percent increase in online job postings between June 2013 and June 2014, about a third of the increase recorded in the past three months alone. Following a slump in 2013, online advertising of engineering and production jobs also jumped in 2014, resulting in a cumulative 11 percent increase for the year, the index found.

The banking, financial services and insurance (BFSI) sector also continued to rank among the top industries for online postings, showing 30 percent year-on-year growth, although online job offers in the sector have dropped by 6 percent since December 2013, perhaps indicating a slowdown.

Online recruitment in engineering, construction and real estate showed a 4 percent increase in the past year, according to MEI, while job offers in production/manufacturing, automotive and ancillary services remained relatively constant, albeit at very low levels.

Although online job postings increased in most sectors, some industries showed steep declines. Online recruitment for the consumer packaged goods, fast-moving consumer goods, home appliance, textiles and gem and jewelry sectors dropped by 25 percent compared to June 2013, the index found.

Legal services were also down, by 5 percent since June 2013, and customer service registered the steepest decline among all occupation groups—29 percent.

Results Vary by Country

In the UAE, the BFSI sector showed the greatest annual increase in online job postings at 17 percent year-on-year growth. By contrast, the advertising, market research, public relations, media and entertainment sector registered the steepest annual decline at 19 percent.

In Saudi Arabia, by contrast, online recruitment for advertising, market research, public relations, media and entertainment jobs grew by 25 percent, led by sales and business development professionals for the fourth consecutive month, the survey said. Saudi Arabia's oil and gas sector offered the highest number of jobs online.

To contact the reporter on this story: Jenny David in Jerusalem at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Rick Vollmar at

The Monster Employment Index is based on a “real-time review of tens of thousands of employer job opportunities culled from a large representative selection of career websites and online job listings,” according to the company, and provides “an aggregate measure of the change in job listings across the industry.” The MEI Middle East is available at