Dubai:  The job market in the Middle East region, including the UAE, has slowed down considerably as a result of falling oil prices and softening of Dubai’s real estate market, according to a new research.

The latest Monster Employment Index (MEI), a monthly gauge of online job listings, dropped to 14 per cent last month from 24 per cent in September 2015, indicating that companies are not hiring as much as they used to.

Across the region, organisations in the education industry posted the biggest decline in recruitment activity, with hiring growth dropping by 22 per cent year on year.

Oil and gas companies are likewise feeling the brunt, registering a 19 per cent drop in demand for additional employees. Similar businesses in the UAE, however, incurred the most significant drop in hiring, at 20 per cent.

Sanjay Modi, managing director for India, Middle East, Southeast Asia and Hong Kong at, attributed the slump to weak oil prices and decline in property prices.

“We continue to see a slowdown in the job market in the region, as evidenced by the index which has almost halved [in one year],” said Modi.

The impact of low oil prices is being felt across the globe. As of this week, more than 250,000 employees worldwide have lost their jobs, as oil and gas companies were forced to shut down rigs and tightened their belts to cope with the downturn.

From $105 per barrel, the price of oil has tumbled significantly to a little over $44  on Friday.

“This slowdown is reflected throughout the region, including the UAE market. This is in line with industry reports about the economic slowdown in the country, triggered by the weak oil prices which are impacting the non-oil sector as well, the gradual fiscal tightening and the softening of real estate prices in Dubai,” said Modi.

Aside from oil and gas companies and educational institutions, firms dealing with chemicals, plastic, rubber, paints, fertilizer and pesticides, as well as those in the production, manufacturing, automotive and ancillary industry, are posting a decline in demand, at 6 per cent and 4 per cent, respectively.

Engineering, construction and real estate companies have registered a slight increase,  at 4 per cent.

Within the UAE, oil and gas businesses incurred the steepest decline at 20 per cent, while those in the advertising, market research, public relations, media and entertainment, as well as banking, financial services and insurance, registered a slight increase in demand of 3 per cent.