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48 per cent of UAE employees were not expecting a raise at all while over 20 per cent said they were expecting a raise of more than 16 per cent. Image Credit: Pixabay

Dubai: In the New Year, many UAE residents are looking for better jobs in the same industry - a report by Bayt and YouGov revealed on Monday. However, 7 in 10 of UAE respondents believe salaries are either increasing or staying the same and 53 per cent expect to receive a raise in 2023.

The survey results were compiled based on answers from 2,941 respondents residing across the region. Zafar Shah, Research Director at YouGov said: “The Salary Survey illustrates the job market from employees’ perspective, helping candidates gauge their worth in the current job market, and promoting employers’ understanding in a way that best serves the business and employees. While financial rewards are key to attracting talent into organizations, non-financial rewards can be essential differentiators when it comes to retaining talent.”

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Finding a better job

The majority of respondents in this survey held middle management positions (29 per cent) while 23 per cent were executives (no managerial responsibilities).

2023 may be the year of change for many of these employees, according to the responses compiled. 61 per cent of UAE employees said they were looking for a better job in the same industry while 34 per cent were looking to switch industries. 15 per cent wanted to stay with their current employer, while 38 per cent of respondents said they were open to moving to another country in the Middle East as an expatriate.

Interestingly, most UAE respondents had spent over 10 years in their current industry at 35 per cent, with 8 per cent spending more than 20 years in the same sector. When it came to jobs, 47 per cent of UAE employees said they had been at their current company for less than three years. 17 per cent, no the other hand, had worked for the same employer for over 10 years.

This, however, does not necessarily mean that UAE-based employees are 'job hoppers'. Only 4 per cent of surveyed employees said they held more than five jobs, while the majority (31 per cent) had only been in one job at the time of the survey.

This is consistent with the longevity shown by employees across the countries included in the report, such as Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, Oman, Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt, Sudan, Morocco, Algeira, Tunisia and others.

But why change?

Based on this survey, salaries were not the reason for these employees wanting to find new jobs since many felt that salaries were increasing or the same. The ‘Michael Page 2023 Salary Guide and Hiring Insights’ released in November 2022 showed that about 43 per cent of surveyed in that case felt the need to find a new job because they had reached their limit in that position and wished to acquire more responsibilities and boost their career development.

And 31 per cent were looking for a change — a new job title or career, a different sector, etc. Other factors include a desire for improved salary and benefits, a feeling of not sharing their current company’s values, and personal reasons.

Salaries vs loyalty

A majority of employees in the country said they felt salaries were increasing slightly (27 per cent) while 24 per cent felt pay stayed the same. What each person is being paid, howerver, does seem to have an effect on one's loyalty with 5 out of 10 respondents saying that their salary is linked either completely or to some extent to the loyalty they have for their current employer.

Only 33 per cent said that their pay did not influence loyalty to their employer while 17 per cent decided not to respond to that question.

Raises in 2023

48 per cent of UAE employees were not expecting a raise at all while over 20 per cent said they were expecting a raise of more than 16 per cent.

Cost of living, savings

Given than global inflation rates have gone up with an increased cost of living, it is reasonable that over 70 per cent of the respondents said they were expecting an increase in cost of living. This may affect savings for some employees in the new year. As of November 2022, when the survey was conducted, 43 per cent of employees from the UAE said they had no savings while 52 per cent said they saved at least 1 per cent.

19 per cent of the savers were able to keep aside 1 to 5 per cent of their income, while over 18 per cent said they were saving more than 15 per cent.