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Dubai: One in two residents in the UAE is currently looking for a new job.

This was revealed in a poll conducted by Gulf News on Monday where 50 per cent of respondents said they are job hunting. Some 30 per cent said they are currently employed but are open to a job change. Only 20 per cent said they are happy with their current jobs.

Better pay and benefits continue to top the checklist of job-seekers. Career growth is the second consideration, while having a new work environment comes third.

Daphne, 36, who works as an office manager in Tecom, is one of those who cited better pay as her reason for leaving her current job.

“Salary is the biggest factor. I’m doing all right financially, but once I have a family, I don’t think what I’m getting will suffice. I will need about Dh3,000 more,” Daphne told Gulf News.

Hubert Floyd, a computer programmer, agreed. “Our salaries are always delayed by two to three weeks. And it’s not even a huge sum.”

Better remuneration as the push factor for switching jobs comes as no surprise, Trefor Murphy, Managing Director of Morgan McKinley, a global professional services recruitment consultancy, said.

“Rent and cost of living in the region have gone up over the past two years. People are just trying to catch up in terms of their pay. I don’t think there’s a surge in people looking for better career opportunities. What they’re looking for is the opportunity to earn more,” Murphy told Gulf News.

Based on the database of gncareers.com, a Gulf News career portal, approximately 1,200 new resumes are created on the site every day. The portal now has 216,000 resumes in just 10 months.

Some 82 per cent of the job-seekers require a job based in the UAE, while the remaining 12 per cent are looking for jobs abroad. Engineering and construction remains the most sought after fields. Jobs in accounting, secretarial, sales and business development, and information technology come next in the list of the top five most searched job categories.

The current market trends mirrored this, reflecting a significant demand in the banking and construction sector, Murphy said, adding pharmaceutical sales on the list.

“The overall trend in the employment market coming out of summer and after Ramadan is upside in terms of the number of vacancies in the market which is quite typical in this time of the year,” Murphy said.

“September brings all the decision-makers back in the UAE. We are seeing a 10 to 12 per cent increase in new jobs coming to the market.”

But an Emirati woman who has been jobless for the past four months despite having a master’s is not as positive.

“I wanted to go to a job that offered good pay, similar to what I was earning. But I have been searching for months now without finding anything, so right now I just want any job that pays the bills. I am still paying the loan I took for my master’s,” said the researcher who claimed she was sacked due to office politics.

“I am very disappointed, I went to everyone and exhausted all my connections. As a qualified Emirati researcher I thought I would find a job easily but that was not the case.”