Oil price slide forcing hiring freeze in Oman

Public sector recruitment limited to essential services

Oil revenues are down in Oman.
Oil revenues are down in Oman.

The lower oil prices are forcing a hiring freeze in both private and public sectors in Oman, according to a report in local media.

The Times of Oman reported that the international oil price, which this week fell below $50 a barrel, has dropped 56% from its peak of $115 in June last year.

The oversupply of oil, along with weaker demand in Asia and Europe and a strong dollar have helped to further decrease the price this year.

The knock-on effect in Oman is that private and public sectors have cut down recruitment this year, with the trend likely to continue in 2016.

“The price of oil then was more than $100 per barrel and the government was flush with funds,” Said Al Shihri, an independent economist, told the Times of Oman. “However, now job seekers are finding it difficult to find employment because of the job freeze in ministries and in even private companies. This is going to be the toughest year in the employment sector.”

The public service sector in the sultanate has already imposed a hiring freeze since January this year, recruiting only in essential services such as education and health.

The newspaper reports that the awarding of contracts for a number of projects have also been put on hold, including the country’s new railway from Musandam to Dhofar.

“The railway project will now be taking a back seat, especially this year,” financial analyst Fareed Al Ojaili told the newspaper. “It would have absorbed thousands of graduates from different towns. Let us hope 2016 will be a better year in terms of oil prices so that we can get out of this recession as quickly as possible.”
 

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