Consumer goods sector achieves highest growth in UAE labour demand

Demand for consumer products is strong, boosting the number of online job postings in the sector, according to Monster Employment Index

Growth in employment within the UAE’s consumer goods industry was greater than any other sector in the first quarter of 2017, rising 14 per cent year-on-year.

Employment in the sector – which covers packaged goods, home appliances, textiles, jewellery and FMCG – reached a peak of 33 per cent growth last month, compared to March 2016, according to the Monster Employment Index (MEI). This is in stark contrast to the overall slowdown in hiring across the region of 43 per cent year-on-year.

Of those sectors that saw a decline, the least affected were workers in purchasing, logistics or supply chain occupations, with a fall of around one per cent in the first three months of the year.

Sanjay Modi, managing director of, APAC & Middle East, pointed out a correlation between the relative success of these sectors.

“These are complementary findings as purchase, logistics and supply chain professionals are needed to help make consumer goods available to consumers – therefore the results of online hiring in both these sectors suggests that consumer confidence remains positive and the appetite for consumer goods is still high,” said Modi.

Banking and financial services were among the industries that saw the largest decline in demand, alongside insurance and retail, where online job posts were down by around a quarter. The number of finance and accounting roles shrunk by approximately 48 per cent in Q1.

Commenting on the discrepancy between the number of jobs available in purchasing, logistics and supply chain and retail, trade and logistics, Modi said it suggested “a trend towards in-house recruitment of professionals from these sectors”.

“Companies from different industries are looking to recruit staff to fulfil purchase, logistics and supply chain requirements and are becoming less reliant on trade and logistics companies,” he added.

Oman registered the lowest overall decline in online job postings across the GCC, down 15 per cent year-on-year, with consumer goods also seeing the highest increase in demand, up 17 per cent year on year. Qatar saw a decline in year-on-year postings of 17 per cent, Bahrain 22 per cent, Saudi Arabia 25 per cent and Kuwait 28 per cent.