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The UAE and Oman Step Up Hiring; Record Surplus and Earnings for Kuwait

Middle East : 20 August 2011

Kuwaiti Revenue and Surplus To Rise Even in Troubled Economic Times

Oil prices were stable in July, only to experience major drops in the opening weeks of August due to renewed worry over the global economic climate. After the US sovereign debt status was downgraded from an AAA rating benchmark oil prices dropped by over $15 pb (or per barrel), leaving WTI at an 11-month low of $78. The Kuwaiti blend KEC faired better due to a time-lag in reporting, landing at $101 pb on August 9th.

It could be argued that a weakened global economy will have more effect on the price of oil than the downgraded US debt status. Some are comparing the collapsing oil prices to the negative conditions in 2008. However the loss of Libyan oil output should allow OPEC to maintain control of output and gives the group a defense for a price floor. Also, the 2008 decline offered evidence that oil prices under the $70 to $80 pb mark cannot be sustained due to production costs and financing requirements

Kuwait, along with Saudi Arabia and the UAE, has boosted production levels by 1.1 million bpd (or mbpd). This increase still does not recover the 1.5 mpbd of Libyan output lost.

The alterations to oil supply and demand for 2011 will result in changes to the oil market. Predictions state that the most likely results will see an increase between 26 and 35 percent over the previous year’s oil prices.

If Kuwaiti government spending is recorded at 5 to 10 percent below budgeted numbers – as is expected – these conditions will create a surplus anywhere from KD 7.3bn to KD 11.4bn. Some of that amount will be allocated to the RFFG (or Reserve Fund for Future Generations). This would be the thirteenth successive surplus in Kuwait.

Staffing Provider Reports Higher Demand for Temporary Office Workers in the UAE

Dulsco, an industry leader for staffing needs, has reported increased demand for temporary office staff during the summer holidays. As residents head out on holiday, businesses aiming for seamless operations are bringing in temporary staff to cover the gaps.

When compared to last year’s figures Dulsco reported a 9.5 percent increase in temporary office staff from May to July of 2011. This is likely a result of increased business activity. The highest demand is for office administration, data entry, secretarial, reception, accounts and logistics staff.

Dulsco HR Outsourcing Senior Manager Prabhu Dharmarajan stated that this increase in demand is natural with expats returning to their homeland for summer holidays. Since Ramadan and the seasonal holiday occurred at the same time there was an even higher than normal need for temporary workers. Businesses could not afford to operate on a lean staff and skilled, trained employees were brought in. Retailers, hospitality and logistics firms are especially busy during Ramadan. Small and medium-sized businesses hired temporary workers to maintain competiveness during this busy season.

Clients of the staffing firm generally put in requests for trained and experienced summer staff well ahead of time. This allows Dulsco to provide the necessary workers efficiently. Dharmarajan noted that many of his clients are searching for temporary staff with the experience to engage and inform customers. These workers are a true benefit to the business and add to the profits.

This news of increased summer hiring follows a similar finding from the Department of Economic Development. The recent poll of 500 Dubai companies (both free zone and offshore) revealed plans to increase the workforces of the service and manufacturing industries this year. Companies in the trading industry intend to maintain their level of staffing.

75,000 Employment Positions Created For Oman Nationals in the Last Six Months

A recent report citing Sheik Abdullah Bin Nasser Al Bakri, Minister of Manpower, stated that Omani locals filled almost 75,000 jobs in the six-month stretch from February to July of this year. Both the Omani government and private sector provided the positions.

Nearly 56,000 of these Omanis are currently working in their new positions. Efforts to get the remaining 19,000 employees working are underway, according to Al Bakri.

The private sector provided over 32,000 of the positions already filled, while the Omani government created around 23,000 jobs, as stated by Al Bakri.

During the political unrest that spread across the region earlier this year Omani nationals demonstrated and demanded an increase in job opportunities. Some regimes in the Middle East fell during this period, bringing an end to long-standing governments. The government and business community of Oman have responded with a significant increase in job openings across the state.

Paul Holdsworth, Staff Writer, Gulf Jobs Market News
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