Number of UAE nationals employed in private sector rises 157 percent in 2 years: MoHRE

UAE labor market witnessed a 10.53 percent growth in the number of employees

Marking a new record high, the number of UAE nationals in the private sector increased 157 percent in 2023 compared to 2021, raising the number of Emirati employees in the private sector to 92,000.

The latest report from the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MoHRE) in collaboration with TASC Outsourcing ‘Making Emiratisation a Success 2024 Guidebook’ reveals that the UAE labor market witnessed a remarkable 10.53 percent annual growth in the number of employees. Moreover, it saw a 9.14 percent increase in the number of companies operating in the private sector.

“Our labor market policies are dynamic and continuously adapt to changing market conditions and evolving needs. The adaptability of these policies ensures that the participation of UAE Nationals is not only enhanced but also impactful and meaningful,” stated Ahmad Yousuf Al Nasser, assistant undersecretary of national human resources development at MoHRE.

Skilled workers and youth participation

Notably, the UAE private sector workforce saw a 7.8 percent growth in the number of skilled workers. In addition, youth representation in the workforce exceeded 50 percent in 2023. Additionally, the private sector saw a significant increase in green jobs, accounting for over 11 percent of the workforce in 2023.

A key highlight of the report is the significant 23.1 percent increase in female participation in the private sector, which reflects the UAE’s commitment to gender equality and the empowerment of women in the workplace.

Sectors leading growth

Leading the growth of skill development across the private sector is information and communication, which saw a 77.28 percent growth. Second came professional, scientific, and technical activities, which saw a remarkable 30.85 growth. In addition, administrative and support services grew 30.57 percent.

UAE’s Emiratization targets

The UAE’s journey towards realizing its Emiratization goals has seen remarkable progress in the last few years. UAE’s ambitious goal is to integrate 75,000 citizens into the private sector within five years of the inception of the programme (2022 – 2026).

In 2021, the number of UAE nationals employed in the private sector was 37,569. This number set the baseline for future growth. This number grew to 60,136 in 2022, demonstrating the effectiveness of early Emiratisation efforts.

By mid-2023, around 7,000 private sector companies employed over 80,000 UAE nationals, marking a 57 percent annual increase.

By the end of 2023, this number surged to a record-high of nearly 92,000 UAE nationals employed in the private sector. This represented a 157 percent increase since the launch of the NAFIS program in September 2021.

Source: Economy Middle East