Gulf Countries anticipated to create more jobs in 2015

The Middle East recruitment firm GulfTalent reported that the Gulf countries are set to create more jobs in 2015 despite the currently low oil price and that Qatar would be expected to create the most number of jobs this year.

The online survey of 600 employers, 22,000 professionals together with 60 interviews with executives and HR professionals, conducted during the period December 2014 to April 2015 is the basis upon which this report was developed.

Key drivers of this growth were massive government investment, the region’s fast-growing population accompanied by drastic regulations changes with respect to notably health insurance requirements for employees in most GCC countries.

Healthcare was therefore found to be the fastest growing sector in the Gulf with 79 per cent of employers planning to raise their headcount this year.  Almost 82 per cent of the firms within the sector hired in 2014, the report noted.

Among Gulf countries, Qatar is expected to create the most number of jobs in preparation for the World Cup in 2022.  With most of the infrastructure contracts for the mega event now under implementation, almost 68 per cent of employers are looking to hire in the country, the report said.

GulfTalent’s research also indicated that although the lowering of the oil price had definitely impacted the regional economies, it has yet to be felt at shop floor level and that the private sector salaries in the Gulf countries are anticipated to grow in 2015.

Qatar once again is expected to see the highest average pay increase at 8.3 per cent, mainly driven by the rising cost of living and the growing need to attract talent for completion of projects.

Employers in Oman are forecast to give the second highest average pay rise at 7.2 per cent.

Saudi Arabia and the UAE follow closely with average pay rises of 7.1 per cent, while average remuneration is expected to grow by seven per cent in Bahrain and Kuwait is expected to see the lowest average pay rise at five per cent.

Among sectors, construction is forecast to have the highest average salary increase at 10 per cent, while the oil & gas sector is expected to see the lowest hike at 5.4 per cent.

The survey also found that employers in the GCC are also facing a shortage of imported talent as many of their traditional source markets such as India have dried up due to better domestic prospects and that despite a recent influx of talent from other Middle East countries affected by political turmoil, GCC countries’ restrictions in employing them have dampened the scope of hiring.