UAE Job Market 2024: 67% of Employees Eye Career Switch Amid Rising Costs

Last Updated on July 9, 2024 by Vadim

In a revealing snapshot of the UAE’s evolving job market, a new survey by Adecco shows that over two-thirds of employees are actively seeking new job opportunities. This trend highlights significant shifts in worker priorities and the challenges facing employers in talent retention.

Key Findings: Why UAE Workers Want Change

The Adecco survey, which gathered insights from 507 professionals across various industries, uncovered several driving factors behind this job-switching trend:

  1. Limited career progression
  2. Uncompetitive pay
  3. Rising cost of living
  4. Poor work-life balance
  5. Inadequate employee benefits
  6. Lack of work flexibility

Mayank Patel, SVP and head of Adecco EEMENA, notes: “Candidates today are increasingly driven by career pursuits. Discussions during interviews and job negotiations frequently revolve around job security, work-life balance, annual career progression opportunities, and competitive compensation.”

Industries Leading the Job-Switch Wave

The survey identified key sectors where job mobility is most pronounced:

  • Technology and software services
  • Banking
  • Construction
  • Engineering
  • Logistics
  • Retail and luxury sectors

Interestingly, these trends are most evident among mid-senior level candidates.

The Loyal Minority

While the majority are looking to switch, 15 to 20 percent of professionals express no intention of changing jobs. These employees are focusing on progressing within their current roles, representing a core of stability in the job market.

Optimism in the UAE Job Market

Despite the high percentage of job-seekers, there’s a strong undercurrent of optimism:

  • 46% of employees are highly optimistic about the UAE job market
  • Sectors with the most positive outlook include IT, software services, retail, luxury, transport, and logistics

2024 Recruitment Landscape

Adecco’s findings point to a surge in hiring activities for 2024, particularly in:

  • IT (AI, cloud computing, machine learning, cybersecurity)
  • Banking
  • Retail
  • Investments
  • Logistics
  • E-commerce
  • Hospitality
  • Oil and gas
  • Sustainable green jobs

What This Means for Employers

  1. Retention Strategies: Companies need to focus on career progression paths and competitive compensation packages.
  2. Work-Life Balance: Implementing policies that support better work-life balance could be key to retaining talent.
  3. Benefits Review: Reassessing and potentially upgrading employee benefits might be necessary.
  4. Flexibility: Offering more flexible work arrangements could be a significant draw for potential employees.

Looking Ahead: The UAE’s Changing Job Market

The UAE’s job market is undergoing a significant transformation, influenced by:

  • A growing expatriate population
  • Rapid technological advancements
  • Strong emphasis on diversity and inclusion
  • Evolving skill requirements

As the market continues to evolve, both employers and employees will need to adapt to these changing dynamics. For job seekers, this environment offers numerous opportunities for career growth and change. For employers, the challenge lies in creating attractive work environments that can retain top talent in a highly competitive market.

The coming year promises to be an exciting time for the UAE job market, with opportunities for growth and innovation across multiple sectors. As the landscape shifts, staying informed and adaptable will be key for both employers and employees navigating this dynamic environment.