Gulf Employment Index

H1 2021 compared with H1 of 2020


The Employment Creation Report looks at new job activity and employment trends across the Gulf. Our report, measures new job activity or creation for the first six (6) months of this year and how it compares to the same period last year. It is important to note that the first four months of last year were largely unaffected by Covid, overall, we have experienced an increase of ~41% over the two periods (H1 2021 vs. H1 2020), as with all employment markets, the GCC is a very diverse region with the UAE, Saudi and Qatar leading the way in this recovery.


According to the World Bank, the economic recovery for the Gulf is predicted to grow GDP by just over 3% this year. At current levels of job creation we may see the market outperforming this prediction. We have seen a significant return in hiring in the Advisory and Consulting markets with other significant increases within Cloud, Investments, and Legal.


The UAE market experienced the most significant increase in new job creation so far this year. It is important to note that the UAE had the largest decline in H1 2020 based predominantly as a result of necessary Covid-19 restrictions. The growth in job creation in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is most prolific, with H1 last year remaining relatively stable. The most notable increases were in Investment, Manufacturing, Technology and Tourism projects. The Qatari market has equally rebounded well.


Employment creation percentage increase for each GCC country based on data from H1 of 2021 compared with H1 of 2020.


UAE 42%                 SAUDI 35%             QATAR 32%             

KUWAIT 14%        BAHRAIN 18%       OMAN 12%

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