Private sector salaries may rise 5pc

Gulf Daily News (Bahrain), 8 February 2011

MANAMA: Private sector salaries in Bahrain are forecast to increase at an average of 5.1 per cent this year, according to a study.

The research was released yesterday by GulfTalent.com, the online recruitment firm.

The findings were published in GulfTalent.com's sixth annual review of labour market trends entitled Employment and Salary Trends in the Gulf 2010-2011 and were based on a survey of 32,000 professionals and 1,400 companies across the GCC.

Among countries, Qatar and Saudi Arabia had the highest pay rises last year at 6.8pc and 6.7pc respectively. Oman was in third place with 6.4pc, followed by Kuwait at 5.7pc.

The UAE and Bahrain saw the smallest increases at 5.2pc and 4.9pc respectively.

Although much lower than the double-digit increases of 2008, the pay rises were all higher than inflation rates, resulting in better living standards for many.

However, about 55pc of professionals did not receive any pay increase at all.

Across the region, with consumer spending picking up, the retail sector saw the highest pay rise at 6.4pc, while education had the smallest increase at 3.8pc.

Among job categories, human resource professionals saw the highest raise at 7.1pc. Lawyers had the smallest increases at 4.3pc.

With increasingly attractive career opportunities in their home countries, Asian professionals working in the Gulf received pay rises of 6.1pc compared with just 3.2pc for Western professionals.

Salaries in the booming Indian economy grew at 11.1pc last year, compared with just 2.4pc in the UK, where unemployment remains high following the financial crisis.

Based on the report findings, the Gulf's labour market is witnessing a small but fast-rising Chinese presence as employers seek substitutes for India and the Philippines, their traditional sources of skill, while a growing number of Chinese companies win major construction and energy contracts in the region, often bringing the required staff directly from China.