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Jobs in Dubai United Arab Emirates

Jobs in United Arab Emirates

The UAE has one of the lowest unemployment levels in the world, standing at only 2.4 per cent at the end of 2001 as a result of high growth in the non-oil economy and a government drive to find jobs for citizens, according to official estimates.

The country's workforce was estimated at around 2.079 million last year, of which nearly 2.029 million were employed, the Ministry of Planning said in its 2002 annual report.

This means around 50,000 people were jobless, accounting for about 2.4 per cent of the total labour force and just 1.4 per cent of the 3.48 million population.

The ministry said it had revised its figures for the workforce which it earlier estimated at around 1.85 million at the end of 2001.

Experts said the revision was apparently prompted by drastic changes in the labour market as thousands of expatriates had to leave because of new labour policies while a large number of nationals are taking up jobs after reaching the legal job age.

Jobs in Dubai United Arab Emirates

"Compared to other developing or even developed countries, the UAE's unemployment rate is one of the lowest in the world," said a UAE banker.

But experts noted official estimates do not include thousands of illegal expatriate residents who are not registered with the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs. Although some of them have part time jobs in violation of labour laws, many of them are unemployed.

More than 200,000 illegal migrants, mostly Asians, left the UAE five years ago to benefit from a general amnesty ordered by President His Highness Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan to clean up the country from immigration violations and restore discipline in the job market. Another spardon is expected to be announced in the next few weeks.

Although actual unemployment rates might be higher, the UAE does not have a real joblessness given its strong economy and a serious government campaign to employ nationals through the creation of new jobs in the public and private sectors and replacement of expatriate workers.

Economists said they saw no hurdles for such a campaign as the non-oil economy is growing by at least four per cent, which is faster than the population growth.

"This means the UAE can cope with the population growth and at the same time maintain its high per capita income which has eroded sharply in other countries in the region," an expert said.

A breakdown by the Ministry of Planning showed the UAE has never suffered from a severe unemployment problem, with the rate standing at only 1.9 per cent in 1975.

It fluctuated in the following years but remained in the range of one to three per cent.

The level is expected to be maintained in the following years as the government's new labour policies focus on employment of nationals and deportation of unnecessary and unqualified foreign workers.

The private sector will likely play a major role in the employment of citizens given its massive potential and the fact that the public sector is saturated and is not growing enough to accommodate large numbers of new jobs.



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