Most Saudi workers prefer government jobs, says poll

The survey showed that 46 percent of workers in Saudi Arabia were satisfied with their salary packages

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The majority of workers in Saudi Arabia would prefer to work in the public sector, according to a poll by jobs site

Around 63 percent of respondents said they would prefer a government job over one in the private sector, the poll found.

“Better salaries and benefits, better working hours, and the nature of the work itself, as well as a better work environment” are factors behind the preference for government work, said Suhail Masri, vice president of sales at

Bayt’s survey included both professionals already working in the government sector and professionals in other fields, Suhail said.

The results come amid Saudi Arabia’s ongoing ‘Saudization’ program called Nitaqat, part of which aims to attract more nationals to the private sector. Nitaqat forces companies in the private sector to employ a minimum number of Saudi nationals, depending on a company’s size and nature of its operations.

“The Nitaqat program has helped numerous Saudi nationals, both males and females, in finding employment in the private sector,” Masri said.

Bayt’s poll, “Top Industries in the Middle East and North Africa Survey”, stated that 48 percent of respondents from Saudi Arabia were satisfied by their work-life balance, and 46 percent were satisfied with their salary packages.

The study showed that 54 percent of participants found that salaries in the oil, gas and petrochemical sectors are the best while 29 percent thought banking and finance jobs have the most attractive.

Working for the construction sector was found most stressful to 28 percent of survey participants from Saudi Arabia, following by banking and finance sector at 19 percent and the oil, gas and petrochemical sector at 18 percent.

Achieving a better salary was cited as the main reason for switching jobs, followed by the aim to achieve better career growth and enjoying better benefits.

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