Oman Job Market during the Remainder of 2016

The falling oil prices continue to put pressure on government spending and, consequently, the ability of private sector operators to continue booking business at the old rate.  Surprisingly, this has, so far, marginal impact on the employment market at least on the aggregate levels.  Simply slowdowns in certain sectors have been offset by acceleration in other sectors.

Oil and gas, real estate and construction sectors have been the obvious victims of the ongoing recession.  Nevertheless, even these sectors have had been few layoffs and downsizing.  In some cases, we have witnessed some shuffling around through reorganization of labor.  Construction companies are simply downsizing admin staff and replacing them with business development and marketing personnel.  Oil and gas companies have a different strategy though.  They would simply replace expensive resources with less expensive ones to coup with lower margins.

On the other hand, retail and consumer sectors continue to flourish.  As per the National Center for Statistics and Information, Oman’s population grew from 4.316 million on 31/12/2015 to 4.447 million on 9/8/2016.  Expatriates population grew from 1.927 million to 2.012 million during the same period.  We could infer from these statistics a:) as population size grows retail and consumer sectors are expected to coup with their basic requirements and b:) more expatriates have relocated to Oman as staff and labor.

Hospitality and aviation have also created thousands of jobs during 2016. Construction of hospitality facilities and acquisition of new aircrafts by the national carrier are among the reason for professionals belonging to this sector not to worry about getting employed.  Besides, the expansion project of Muscat International Airport will certainly attract airliners to intensify their expansion in Oman.

Other key sectors like Banking, Telecom, Utilities and Healthcare have remained neutral during this economic cycle.  These sectors have maintained the organic growth whenever possible.  Banks for instance have offered lesser jobs during 2016 and have focus on technology improvement rather than adding manpower.

In we are confident that the scenario will remain unchanged during the last quarter of 2016.  Furthermore, we are positive that more jobs are likely to be created towards summer end.  This is due to the seasonal effect of inbound tourism elevating the demand on the hospitality sector.

However, you must be aware that the recession currently hitting the region will entice employers to bargain for a Mercedes Benz at the price of a Corolla!

Leave a Comment