UAE Employment Rises at Fastest in More Than Two Years, IHS Says

Employment in the United Arab Emirates rose at the fastest pace in more than two years in June, according to IHS Markit, as the Middle East’s business and travel hub gradually recovers from the pandemic-led downturn that resulted in record job shedding last year.

The first increase in employment since January pointed to gains for the economy. But non-oil business activity improved at a slower pace, to its lowest level in four months, IHS Markit’s Purchasing Managers’ Index showed Monday, as coronavirus-linked measures persisted and some flights were canceled. The gauge remained above the 50-mark separating growth from contraction.

UAE Employment Rises at Fastest in More Than Two Years, IHS Says

“Business conditions continued to improve at only a gradual pace in June, adding evidence to a mixed initial recovery from Covid-19 in the UAE non-oil sector,” said David Owen, economist at IHS Markit.

Private-sector employment in the UAE was battered last year by the pandemic. Job losses, especially in Dubai, led to an expat exodus whose impact is still felt in the city. The U.S. last week raised its travel warning for the UAE to its highest level due to the virus.

In Saudi Arabia, which has banned its citizens from traveling to the UAE without receiving prior approval, business conditions continued an upward trend. New business growth in the kingdom was at the highest level in five months. Job creation also rose at the fastest pace since late 2019, but was modest overall, IHS Markit said.

More from the reports

  • The UAE’s PMI dropped to 52.2 in June from 52.3 the month before, the lowest since February amid a slower upturn in new orders
    • Shortages in raw materials pushed input prices up by the fastest pace in three months, resulting in firms raising charges for a second time in about three years
    • Outlook for future activity improved for a seventh straight month, though it was mild
    • The rate of growth for demand slipped for a second month but firms noted an improvement in customer demand
  • Saudi PMI was at 56.4 in June, unchanged from May
    • Gauge mainly lifted by the fastest upturn in new orders since the beginning of 2021
    • Input prices increased but there were indications that inflationary pressures have peaked
    • New business inflows rose significantly as a result of better demand conditions; orders from abroad rose but overall demand growth was mainly a result of increasing domestic sales
    • Business confidence was at a five-month-high with companies expecting further easing of Covid-19 measures

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