Saudi employers, employees expect salary increase this year: Hays survey

Riyadh: More than half of Saudi employers and employees expect pay rises this year, according to a survey by global agency Hays.

Around 53 per cent of employers and 56 per cent of employees working in the Kingdom expecting salaries to increase, according to the Hays 2021 Saudi Arabia’s Salary and Employment Report, released on Monday. The report was compiled from a market survey of more than 600 professionals working there. 

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic negatively impacting some salaries in 2020, with nine per cent of those working in the Kingdom experiencing a pay cut, the report found that the job market has a positive outlook in 2021.

Chris Greaves, managing director of Hays in the Middle East, said the outlook for salaries and Saudi Arabia’s over all jobs market in 2021 is even more positive.

“Saudi Arabia has not been exempt from the impacts of COVID-19,” said Chris Greaves, Managing Director of Hays in the Middle East, as quoted by Arab News.

“Indeed, lockdown measures and consequential reductions in energy prices forced a number of organizations in the country to make redundancies and reduce salaries in a bid to remain operational,” he said. When looking on a global scale, Saudi Arabia’s job market has fared very well, he added.

The survey found that both wage reductions and redundancy are relatively lower in Saudi Arabia than in other regions.

“When it comes to salaries, while organizations will want to keep a lid on pay increases in an attempt to recoup some of the financial losses made in the past year, we expect this optimism to translate in a higher number of pay rises in 2021 than were awarded in 2020,” said Greaves.

The survey also found salary to be the number one factor why 44 per cent of professionals working in Saudi Arabia are looking to move jobs in the next 12 months.