Job opportunities during COVID-19
The UAE job market is in a state of flux... COVID-19 has brought about massive changes in workforce numbers, incomes and more. It's reflected in the way residents are scouting for new opportunities. Image Credit: Gulf News Archive

Dubai: The 35- to 45-year olds are more likely to be searching for new jobs than the young as the pandemic unsettles the UAE’s employment market.

While 28 per cent between 18-24 years have checked out options, it was 34 per cent among those in the 35-45 group. It was just as high among the 45 plus – at 36 per cent, according to a survey done on behalf of the consultancy Kearney.

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The survey featured more than 1,000 residents in the UAE and explored personal wellbeing, economic and professional behaviors people worked on improving during the past virus-influenced months.

“The pandemic has not only encouraged personal change, but also spurred changes in some longstanding social constructs,” said Andreea Zugravu, Principal at Government and Economic Development at Kearney Middle East.

Doubling down on savings

Not too surprising, given the number of days people spent indoors, the survey respondents said they generated more savings during this period. Again, those in the Dh40,000 a month income bracket represented 47 per cent of those who said they saved more, while 43 per cent of those in the Dh20,000-Dh40,000 range said the same.

Forty-one per cent of those in the Dh10,000-Dh20,000 also had higher savings.

Take on challenges

Amidst all the heightened uncertainty, more residents in the UAE have promised themselves to bring about change in their habits and behaviours.

Almost a third surveyed spent more time attending online conferences and webinars. Respondents with an income of over Dh45,000 spent the most time (45 per cent) attending these compared to those in other income levels.

Of those earning less than Dh5,000, that percentage dips to 25 per cent. Obviously, they had more pressing needs to attend to.

"As people adapt to the new normal, we are seeing a range of evolved behaviors," said Étienne Bressoud, Deputy CEO at BVA Nudge Unit. "Combined with the right support from governments and organizations, these positive changes have the potential to transform society for the better.”