2014 will be a year of stronger employment growth and higher salary rises, according to a survey by online recruitment firm, GulfTalent.
The 2014 edition of “Employment and Salary Trends in the Gulf”, released today by GulfTalent, shows that Saudi Arabia was the leader in job creation in 2013, with 62% of companies increasing their headcount last year. The Kingdom was followed by the UAE and Kuwait.
Broken down into sectors, healthcare topped the table with 80% of companies having created jobs in 2013, driven by heavy government investment in the sector and more countries making health insurance mandatory for employers. According to the survey, telecom and retail sectors competed for second position.
Employment growth in 2014
GulfTalent’s survey also found that across the GCC, more companies expect to increase their headcount in 2014 compared with last year. 75% of companies in Qatar will create jobs this year. The positive development is primarily due to the execution of major infrastructure projects gathering momentum, partly in preparation for the 2022 World Cup. Next are companies in Saudi Arabia and the UAE, with 63% and 57% of companies looking to create jobs respectively. Even companies in Bahrain are showing signs of improvement in job creation as the political situation stabilises further: 30% of companies expect to increase their headcount, compared with only 9% in 2013.
Hospitality and retail will dominate job growth in 2014. 61% of companies in the hospitality sector are planning to increase their headcount, as they expect 2014 to be a year of growth for the industry. As regards the retail sector, 57% of firms will create jobs, driven by the region’s rapid population growth and increasing penetration of retail outlets in more remote locations.
Across most of the GCC, private sector salaries are forecast to rise at a faster pace in 2014 compared with the previous year. Oman, where employees are expected to enjoy an average pay increase of 8%, leads the field. Saudi Arabia has the second highest rate with a projected average increase of 6.8 %, followed by Qatar at 6.7% and the UAE at 5.9%. Kuwait and Bahrain are forecast to have the region’s lowest salary increases – projected at 5.8% and 3.9% respectively. While the salary increases are higher than the previous year, they continue to be below the levels seen before the crisis.
Most popular GCC countries
According to GulfTalent’s report, the UAE has further strengthened its position as the prime destination for expatriates in the GCC. Optimism about the country’s future has increased following Dubai’s economic recovery and successful bid for hosting the 2020 Expo. Expatriates also continue to value the UAE’s stability, especially as parts of the wider region remain plagued by tensions. Not surprisingly, Dubai and Abu Dhabi are the region’s most attractive cities, followed by Qatar’s capital, Doha. Bahrain, on the other hand, remains the least attractive destination for expatriates.
GulfTalent’s report is based on an online survey of 800 employers and 34,000 professionals, as well as 60 interviews with executives and HR professionals.
GulfTalent is the leading online recruitment portal in the Middle East, covering all sectors and job categories. It is used by over 4 million professionals across the region for finding top career opportunities. It is also the primary online recruitment channel for over 6,000 companies, providing them access to both local and expatriate talent.
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