REPORT: Saudi leading job, salary growth in the region

Published: Updated:

Saudi Arabia is leading the region on salary increases and advertised jobs according to the Robert Walters Job Index and Salary Index reports released on Monday.

Advertised roles in the Middle East increased by 2% year on year overall the, report read., with Saudi Arabia seeing the highest increase in advertised jobs with an over 35% year on year increase.

The UAE however is showing decrease in jobs advertised with a negative 10% year on year rating.

“Despite 2017 being a challenging year, there is an expectation of growth for 2018 as we have seen overall positive numbers for the region in the last two quarters,” said Jason Grundy, Robert Walters Country Head, Middle East.

“It is exciting to see the biggest economy in the region growing its job market off the back of weak data in 2017,” Grundy added.

Year-on-Year in Saudi, Accounting roles were flat but we saw significant increases for Sales & Marketing and legal positions according to the report.

Banking & Financial services roles were down year on year but up from Q3 by 20%. Overall Saudi advertised jobs are significantly up both year on year (35%) and Q3 vs Q4 (21%)

Overall, the index advertised positions for the job sectors Robert Walters covers in the UAE were down 11% Year-on-year and 7% down quarter-on-quarter.

“The increase of 35% of advertised jobs year-on-year in Saudi indicates the market is moving in a positive direction as the Kingdom focuses on growth and its 2030 plans,” said Grundy.

Broadly salaries will remain flat, according to the report, but modest increases are expected in Saudi Arabia with Legal professionals enjoying the strongest salary growth at 3%, with Finance specialists seeing a 2% increase.

“While employers remain conservative in their salary projections for 2018, we do expect an upside in salary increases in Saudi, thanks to an improving economic situation as a result of the resumption of government spending, stabilized oil prices, and the effects of economic transformation programs,” Jason Grundy said.

Saudi saw stronger salary growth at 2% on average across all professional roles. Accountancy and Finance professionals saw the strongest salary growth at 7% on average, while Legal professionals increased by 5%.

Nationalization programs across the region have accelerated creating an exciting array of opportunities for UAE and Saudi nationals, Grundy said, particularly those who have experience working overseas combined with an understanding of local business culture.