With the global economy in danger of slipping back into a recession - though some economists are making the case for it already being there - many in the UAE fear that another round of job cuts may be on the way.
However, experts in the recruitment industry believe that we are unlikely to see major redundancies in the country because most companies are already done with downsizing and restructuring.
“We believe that the vast majority of organisations have already undertaken the required restructuring or downsizing and we do not anticipate a repeat of the lay-offs of 2009. There may still be some isolated cases of restructuring, but not as part of an overall trend,” Cliff Single, Commercial Manager at BAC Middle East told Emirates24|7.
Hasnain Qazi, Middle East Business Manager at Huxley Associates believes that laying-off staff can also happen due to circumstances, which are not directly related to macro market happenings.
“Irrespective of market conditions, companies will lay-off staff from time to time. In most cases, this staff is often replaced with fresher, more relevant skilled professionals. If it is a cost issue, a high cost base staff could be replaced with more affordable employees,” he told this website.
Not everyone is convinced of job security though.
Some experts say that even though the UAE job market is improving, it is very difficult to predict the future, considering the recent global scenario.
“This [laying-off staff] will never stop as it has always been the case in all economies. Especially in such turbulent times, it is not possible to predict. As economies change, various industries are affected, positively or negatively.
“The ones facing a negative impact may need to restructure their staff and occasionally lay-off. However, if things do not change dramatically in the following months, massive lay-offs are not expected in the country,” said Konstantina Sakellariou, Partner, Marketing & Operations Director at Stanton Chase.
Globally, experts believe more job cuts are expected. According to the latest data available, employers in the US announced more job cuts in August than a year ago, signalling little progress in the labour market more than two years after the recession ended.
According to figures released a few days back by Chicago-based Challenger, Gray & Christmas Inc, planned firings climbed 47 per cent from August 2010 to 51,114.
The job market in the Eurozone is no better.
According to French President Nicolas Sarkozy, the country sees a “Titanic battle’ to maintain jobs in a tough economy. “Clearly we are facing today an absolutely titanic battle to maintain France as a land of production,” Sarkozy said as reported by Bloomberg.
Asia, the hot spot of growth is also seeing job cuts. There are obvious signs that global banks are keeping a count on their number in Asia too.
According to news reports coming out of Hong Kong, banks are trimming, albeit in limited numbers. However, they also state that experts in the region remain optimistic about Asia’s longer-term employment market.