If you’re living in the Middle East and you want a salary raise, Saudi Arabia is the best place to find it, according to a new survey from Aon.
The survey took responses from 600 companies operating in the GCC, and asked them about salary rises over the past year. Companies from Saudi Arabia topped the list, with salaries rising by an average of 4.4% this year.
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Kuwait and the UAE were the second-biggest movers in terms of salaries, each posting wage growth of 4.3%. Next up was Qatar (4.2%), followed by Bahrain and Oman, which each saw wage growth of 3.9%.
Indeed, according to the survey, these salary rises were lower than previously forecast, thanks to a slower-than-expected GCC economy and sustained low oil prices. Aon’s new forecasts take this into account.
As a result, projected rises for the coming year are more conservative. Saudi Arabia still tops the list – salaries there are expected to rise by 4.5% in 2018, and it’s the same figure for Kuwait and Qatar. In the UAE and Oman, salary increases of 4.3% are expected, while Bahrain is thought to post 4% growth.
Unfortunately for consumers, the introduction of VAT to the Gulf countries in 2018 will only put further pressure on their spending power. That said, Aon explained that the 5% tax will go some way to improving GDP, which may help GCC residents with their salaries.
“While employers choose to remain conservative in the projected salary increase of 2018, we may witness an upside in the actual salary increase, thanks to an improving economic situation as a result of increased government spending, stabilised oil prices, and the effects of economic transformation programs,” Aon said.
In terms of the employment sectors that are best for getting a raise, life sciences tops the list with an average wage increase of 5.1%. High tech is next, with employees getting 4.6% more this year, while most other industries hovered around the 2.5% mark.