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The jobs and orders are picking up, and this comes at just the right time with the Expo opening next month. UAE's private sector is expecting new order activity to remain on a high. Image Credit: WAM

Dubai: The jobs are coming back in UAE’s private sector, with the fastest rate of employment gains since January 2018. This was brought on by business activity rising at its fastest rate since July 2019, with businesses reporting a stream of new orders, according to IHS Markit, the consultancy.

If the momentum is maintained, it will set up UAE’s private sector to make full use of the Expo opening and the many initiatives the Government is planning across sectors. "Firms continued to look forward to the Expo 2020, hoping that this will drive investment and growth higher in the coming months,” said David Owen, Economist at IHS Markit, which comes up with the monthly PMI (purchasing managers’ index) for key economies. (The PMI numbers provide an insight into the extent of private sector led activity in that market.)

"(UAE’s) PMI data signalled another robust rise in business activity across the non-oil sector in August, as demand continued to rebound from the pandemic. This increasingly fed through into firms' hiring decisions, with employment numbers ticking up at the fastest rate for more than three-and-a-half years.”

The latest UAE PMI reading is 53.8 for August, slightly down from the 54 in July. The reading signalled the second-fastest improvement in the health of the sector for more than two years amid a further sharp increase in new work,” said the report.

Cause for job gains
Rising demand and supply-chain pressures created more backlogs "midway through the third quarter", the report notes. "With output requirements growing, non-oil companies increased their employment levels at the fastest rate since the beginning of 2018."

Domestic demand

Most of the new orders are being placed by local businesses, while export sales dropped for a fourth month in a row. “Firms noted that foreign demand had slipped due to rising COVID-19 cases in some regions and difficulties with transporting goods due to shipping issues,” IHS Markit added on its August findings.

But the overall mood among businesses is still on slippery ground. Regarding future output, surveyed businesses’ confidence levels slipped to its lowest point since March last.