London, Asharq Al-Awsat-According to a report published by the Bayt.com website in conjunction with regional resource specialists YouGov Siraj, 74 percent of residents across the Middle East region feel they have been personally affected by the global economic crisis. The Middle East Salary Survey, conducted annually by Bayt.com and YouGov Siraj, is designed to look at the current levels of wages and benefits in the region, and to gauge employee opinion and satisfaction levels vis-à-vis the salaries they receive, and how these have kept pace with the cost of living.
Asked their feelings about the current economic climate in terms of the labor market, 22% of respondents said they felt optimistic about the chances of robust economic growth and more jobs being available in a year’s time in their country of residence. In comparison to last year’s report when the region’s professionals were largely pessimistic about the future, there has been a general improvement in optimism. Oman and Morocco were the most optimistic about the future – 34% and 28%, respectively said they were feeling very optimistic, while Jordan and Lebanon were the least optimistic with just 16% and 14% of professionals- respectively- stating they are very optimistic.
Bayt.com CEO Rabea Ataya said “There is a very high demand for accurate figures on salary levels in the Middle East across industries, job roles and career levels. By conducting this comprehensive pan-regional, pan-industrial, salary survey which covers professionals across the GCC, Levant and North Africa, we are able to shed timely light on what level of salaries people are earning and whether the Middle East’s professionals are, or indeed are not, satisfied with how much they are paid, in addition to their expectations vis-à-vis future salaries and economic conditions.”
Overall, professionals across the Middle East felt that the cost of living had increased by 24%, yet the average salary increased by just 7% – more than two thirds less. In the UAE, respondents said that living costs had increased by 22% while the average salary increase was just 6%.
Respondents were also asked to compare their salary raise for the period of December 2008-2009, and their salary raise for the period of December 2007-2008. Across all of the surveyed countries, the salary increase for the 2007-2008 period was higher than a year later, which perhaps demonstrates the effect of the recession on the region’s salaries. On average, the 2007-2008 salary raise was 9.0% compared to a 7.3% average raise the following year.
This year’s salary survey also looked at the respondents’ level of satisfaction with the pay rise they received. For the most part, the region’s respondents did not receive a pay rise, with a sizeable 44% missing out on a pay rise. This figure was 55% of respondents in the UAE, and an overwhelming 59% of respondents in Kuwait – the highest among the surveyed countries. In the UAE, just 4% of professionals said they were very happy with their salary increase, 7% were very unhappy, 13% consider themselves as unhappy, and just 6% agreed that their pay rise was fair given the economic circumstances.
Data for the 2009/2010 Salary Survey was collected online in February 2010 with 10,699 respondents across the UAE, KSA, Qatar, Oman, Kuwait, Bahrain, Syria, Jordan, Lebanon, Egypt, Morocco, Tunisia and Algeria. Males and females of all nationalities aged over 20 years were included in the survey.