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60% of Kuwait employees expect a raise in the next 12 months

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April 03, 2012

88% state that the cost of living in the past year has increased, according to Bayt.com and YouGov MENA Salary Survey

The latest MENA Salary Survey conducted by Bayt.com, the Middle East’s number one jobsite, and YouGov, a research and consulting organisation, has revealed that despite 48% of employees having been unhappy with their last pay rise, more than half believe that salaries in Kuwait are increasing.

About the Respondents

A third of survey respondents (28%) in Kuwait have spent 4-6 years in their current industry, with a third (31%) having worked for their current employer for 4-7 years. Four out of ten have between one and five people reporting directly to them, with a collective 71% stating that they are midway in terms of seniority (33%), or at a fairly senior level, but not yet at the top (38%). Over the past five years, 36% of respondents have held two jobs; 29% have held one job, while the remainder have held three (21%) or more (11%). On average, most people will stay in a job for 2 to 3 years (30%), or six or more years (31%).

In Kuwait, the preferred pay structure is entirely fixed-pay (57%), with popular incentives including those that are performance-based (57%), and professional training and development courses (32%).

Salary packages primarily (53%) consist of basic salary only, and six out of ten of respondents are currently moderately satisfied with their salary.

The most popular Kuwait salary benefits include personal medical insurance (35%), bonuses (30%), and personal annual air ticket (26%).

Salary Comparisons and Expectations

Six out of ten respondents in Kuwait state that their current compensation is lower than that offered by other companies in the same industry. Almost half claim not to have received a raise in the last 12 months. Those who did receive a raise are predominantly unhappy with what they received; collectively, 48% claim to have been ‘unhappy’ or ‘very unhappy’. The majority of respondents (60%) expect to receive a raise in the coming year, 23% of which are looking at an additional 15% or more.

Cost of Living and Savings

According to 88% of survey respondents, the cost of living in Kuwait has increased in the last 12 months (between December 2010 – December 2011), of these 49% believe that it has increased by 15% or more. Food and beverage is believed to have increased the most, according to 42% respondents, followed by rent (34%). A majority 82% believe that the cost of living will continue to rise in the coming year. On average, respondents claim that they received a 6.33% raise in the past year – while stating that their cost of living increased by an average of 21.39%.

Four out of 10 respondents are able to save more than 15% of their monthly salary, though 25% have been unable to save anything at all. A third (34%) manage to repatriate more than 15% of their salary.

“The survey’s results suggest that companies are still feeling the effects of the economic downturn, as they are generally not fully catering to the financial expectations of their employees or to their employees’ perceptions of the rising cost of living across the region,” said Suhail Masri, Vice President - Sales, Bayt.com. “Bayt.com’s in-depth surveys provide invaluable information about the MENA employment market, giving employers and job-seekers alike a realistic insight into the issues faced by their peers locally and elsewhere in the region.”

Perception of Salaries in the Country

More than half of survey respondents (a collaborative 54%) believe that salaries in Kuwait are increasing either ‘marginally’ (29% of respondents) or ‘moderately’ (25% of respondents). The most popular reason for this is perceived to be inflation and the rising cost of living (51%), followed by growth in opportunities and economic growth in the respondent’s country of residence (25%). Respondents meanwhile blame employer-friendly laws (26%) and poor corporate performance/profitability (25%) as being the top reasons for salaries not increasing - however, 26% state that they do not know why there have been no increases.

Quality of Life

When comparing themselves to other people of a similar generation within Kuwait, 41% of respondents believe that their quality of life is about average, while 26% believe that they are somewhat better off. Almost a fifth (19%) of professionals believe that there is an excess of talent in Kuwait.

To improve their situation, 56% will look for a better job in the same industry, while another 30% will look for a better job in a different industry.

“The survey respondents belief that there is an increase, however small, in salaries is a positive sign for the future. However, the fact that they also consider there to be an excess of talent suggests that unemployment levels are currently relatively high, and that competition for existing jobs is fierce,” said Sundip Chahal, CEO, YouGov.

Drivers of Loyalty

Loyalty to employers is directly linked to salary package, according to 28% of Kuwait respondents. However, a larger group of 33% base their loyalty on their line manager. Opportunities for long-term career progression, senior management, colleagues and working environment, daily responsibilities, and training and development opportunities also factor highly.

Data for the Bayt.com Salary Survey March 2012 was collected online from March 1 to 13, 2012. Results are reported on a base of 16067 respondents. Countries that participated are UAE, KSA, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Bahrain, Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Egypt, Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia and Pakistan.

This article and all other intellectual property on Bayt.com is the property of Bayt.com. Reproduction of this article in any form is only permissible with written permission from Bayt.com.

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