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Jobs have been lost, people are facing serious pay cuts. The global coronavirus pandemic has triggered very difficult economic times. However, there is hope.
While some sectors have seen a high unemployment rate , there are other areas that have seen a rise in demand.
Nurses, software engineers and telesales representatives are the jobs in demand across the UAE during the current coronavirus crisis, according to recruitment giant Bayt.com.
It might seem hard to believe, but even in the age of COVID-19, there are jobs that are not just available but in such high demand that companies are experiencing a shortage in staff.
Akram Assaf, the company’s chief technology officer, also revealed that industries including distribution and logistics (specifically last-mile logistics), internet and e-commerce, technology and information services, and telecommunications, are continuing to search for staff, despite the economic downturn.
He told Arabian Business: “Although the corona (virus) outbreaks have forced many establishments to rethink their hiring efforts, to enable their teams to work remotely where possible, and to operate on minimum resources, many critical roles continue to operate at full capacity, and even beyond normal levels”.
Assaf said Bayt.com had witnessed a surge in its site usage by almost 25 percent since the start of the year, compared to the same period in 2019, with an average of 1.5 million page views per day.
The economic fall-out of the coronavirus pandemic has hammered all sectors. President of Emirates Airline, Sir Tim Clark, this week described it as “a kind of $50 trillion torpedo” to hit the economy. Both Emirates and Abu Dhabi-based Etihad have announced plans to cut jobs as a result of the crisis.
However, redundancies are not restricted to the aviation sector alone, with hospitality and F&B particularly hard hit as a result of movement restrictions and precautionary measures enforced to mitigate the spread of Covid-19.
According to Abbas Ali, Senior Vice President of sales at TASC Outsourcing, a staffing firm based in the UAE, there are certain sectors that have seen a surge in job opportunities.
“Demand in the industry sector is huge, particularly in e-commerce. We are getting a lot of enquiries for high-end technology professionals who can help companies through their digital transformation, as almost every company tries to brush up their online presence. This is also an area where we are able to recruit people working remotely, whether they are in India or in Romania. Whenever the borders open, these professionals will fly in but for the time being they are working remotely,” he said.
Another sector experiencing a high demand is logistics and delivery.
“Everybody needs a driver right now as well as warehouse helpers, and people who can support logistics,” he added.
Bana Shomali, founder of servicemarket.com, a digital marketplace for home services, said that the home service industry also appeared to be resilient to the pandemic crisis.
“Demand for home services like moving, maintenance, electrical, plumbing, pest control, and home cleaning is still strong despite the crisis. While we saw some initial slowdown in demand from customers at the start of the movement restrictions, demand for these essential services are now back to pre-coronavirus levels,” Shomali said.
“In terms of services that saw an increase in demand – we have found that deep cleaning, disinfection and sanitisation services, across homes and offices have surged in demand. We are currently handling eight times the usual demand for these services. This is a precautionary disinfection service that homes and offices are requesting to ensure that their residences and workplaces are virus- and germ-free. We expect that this service will remain essential over the next six to 12 months,” she added.
While that may be the case, there shouldn’t be a repeat of 2008 when expats left the country en masse. It’s quite different from the economic downturn of 2008. The fact is that it is as bad if not worse back home, whether that’s Italy, Ireland, the UK or Australia.
Probably the resumption of flights to and from the country, and the easing of restrictions will go a long way to kick-starting the country’s economy.
It’s predictable a swift resumption to normal business.