Insights from the Middle Eastern Job Data Analysis

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By: Preetish Panda June 26, 2018

According to a research conducted by Hays Group for the Middle East region, in 2018 71% of the employers are planning to increase hiring in the next 12 months and 66% are optimistic about year-on-year market activity for their businesses. This essentially cements the fact that the Middle East (ME) is poised to add substantial number of job opportunities. Hence, it would be very interesting to find out some of the insights associated with the job market of this region.

This is the reason why we analyzed the job listings data (job ads) extracted from a popular job board catering to ME region to unveil compelling insights. For better perspective, here is how a typical job ad looks like:

Before delving into the findings, we’ll first understand the data set – it has close to 69,000 job postings and the important data fields used in this study are ‘job location’, ‘job category’, ‘job title’, ‘salary’, ‘job description’, and ‘job type’.

Let’s now go through the charts and visualizations pertaining to the above-mentioned data and answer some of the critical questions.

Top locations in terms of job opportunities

Here we’ll find out the top locations in the Middle East with most number of job openings. The chart shows that ‘Dubai, ‘Riyadh’ and ‘Kuwait city’ are the top three cities. We can see that two cities from the UAE are in the top six which essentially tells that the UAE is the primary driver of jobs. This can be attributed to the steady growth in the household expenditure in this country (the highest in the GCC region), leading to creation of more jobs. Apart from the UAE, we also see that Riyadh (capital of Saudi Arabia) has also picked pace owing to the new economic policies of the country, i.e., the structure for bankruptcy and allowing women to start business without the permission of men.

Top job domains

Here we’ll uncover the industry verticals that have maximum job openings. The following chart shows that ‘Oil and gas’ and ‘Information technology’ and ‘Retail’ are the major domains contributing to the job opportunities. It is very interesting to see that IT as a job sector is closely trailing ‘Oil and gas’ sector. Further analysis shows that the countries that have major IT jobs are UAE and Saudi Arabia. This is primarily because of companies’ awareness for digital transformation as they increasingly consider IT an intrinsic business growth driver. Another factor is the preparation for Dubai’s hosting of the World Expo in 2020 which has the theme of “Connecting Minds, Creating the Future” and sub-themes of sustainability, mobility and opportunity.

Top job titles

Now that we have covered the industry verticals, let’s find out what type of jobs are in demand. We can see that maximum job opportunity lies in ‘Engineering’, ‘Sales’ and ‘Project Management’ domain. Further analysis of the ‘Engineering’ job title shows that it encompasses domains such as mechanical, civil, software, electrical, etc. Also, country-wise UAE and Saudi Arabia have major job opportunities for engineering positions. After breaking down the ‘Sales’ profile we saw that majority of them have managerial roles and executive positions are next in line.

Salary distribution

Although majority of the job postings didn’t specify the salary data, we created the salary distribution chart using the available data. The chart given below shows that primarily salary is ranging in between $500 to $2,000. In terms of wage Saudi Arabia and UAE offer the highest among the Middle Eastern countries while Libya offers the least. Saudi Arabia and UAE are largely leading in terms of job opportunities and wage because of their economic stability, inflow of foreign investment and higher consumer spending power. At the same time, Libya’s oil production has drastically dipped at a time when the global oil prices fell, and the civil war in the country has been a major deterrent to its growth.

Job type

What type of jobs are offered in the Middle East? Are they predominantly full time or part time? Let’s check out the following chart to answer this question.

We can see that more than 95% of the jobs are on full time basis. The important reason behind this is the lack of clear labour laws recognising jobs other than full time jobs which can lead to disputes associated with pay. However, very recently there has been welcome moves by UAE and Oman to facilitate employment via part-time jobs.

Top terms in job description

In this analysis we’ll check out the most frequently used words in the job descriptions of the job listings. The following visualization contains 200 most frequently used terms.

This shows us that the top five words are ‘experience’, ‘all’, ‘work’, ‘years’, and ‘management’. We also looked at the job requirements and found that a lot of emphasis has been given on the communication skills apart from proficiency in English and Arabic. In terms of technical skills, knowledge of computers is highly sought after.

Conclusion

In this study, we analyzed the clean job feeds to understand the current job market in the Middle East region. To summarize, Dubai is the city that has the highest number of job openings and ‘Oil and gas’ sector is contributing the most. The jobs associated with engineering are the highest and the salary range lies typically in between $500 to $2000.

The future of the job opportunities and growth will largely rely on the region’s leaders’ ability to bring about necessary reforms. This is paramount in the present days to ensure that the Middle East’s young people can capture the new opportunities that are coming towards them.

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