Don't dream of bigger salary increments next year

Experts expect salary hikes to be in single digits in 2012

The feel good factor of the summer season seems to be giving way to renewed concern at the job front for many employees in the UAE. Experts reckon that average salaries in 2012 would only see small changes, if any, and not everyone will take home bigger packages.

According to analysts, there is no specific industry or profession that can expect hikes next year. Increments will be selective and not across the board.

“Pay raise will not go by profession or industry but by person, company and geography,” Konstantina Sakellariou, Partner, Marketing & Operations Director at Stanton Chase told 'Emirates24|7'.

“In [countries like] Qatar and the UAE performance pay wins the day. While the overall performance of a company or bank is taken into consideration, there will be an increase from last year in performance bonus payouts to select individuals,” added Peter Greaves, Director, Head of Financial Markets, McArthur Murray.

According to experts in the industry, 2011 has not been a very happy year in terms of salaries/hikes and bonuses but we can expect little in the New Year as most expect salary hikes to be in single digits.

“Salary satisfaction levels across the Middle East have been low for 2011. According to our figures, three per cent of Middle Eastern professionals state that they are highly satisfied with their remuneration, 52 per cent averagely satisfied, and 45 per cent have low satisfaction. The UAE recorded three per cent high satisfaction, 50 per cent medium satisfaction, and 47 per cent low satisfaction. [Our findings] also reveal that for the most part, the region’s respondents did not receive a pay rise, with a sizeable 38 per cent missing out on a raise. In the UAE, only three per cent of professionals said that they were very happy with their salary increase, seven per cent were very unhappy, 14 per cent consider themselves unhappy, and six per cent agreed that their pay rise was fair given the economic circumstances,” Amer Zureikat, VP Sales, told this website.

“With regards to future prospects, almost a quarter of Middle Eastern professionals (24 per cent) said that they feel optimistic that there will be robust economic growth in their country of residence and more jobs available in an year’s time, with just 17 per cent feeling pessimistic about the future. In the UAE, only 14 per cent said they were quite pessimistic while 24 per cent said they were very optimistic. [Our survey] also reveals that 23 per cent of Middle Eastern professionals did not expect to receive a raise between December 2010 and December 2011, while 16 per cent expect a raise of one to five percent and another 16 per cent between 6 to 10 per cent,” he added.

According to Aon Hewitt, a human resource consulting and outsourcing solutions business of Aon Corporation, people working in the UAE are expected to get a 5.2 per cent pay hike in 2012. This is one of the least in the Middle East in the region. Saudi Arabia and Kuwait lead the charge for the GCC at 5.9 per cent.

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