Qatar’s labour market, particularly for professionals, appears to be in a better shape compared to others in the Gulf region, especially the UAE, according to a survey.
“In Qatar, 62% of professionals are worried about their job situation, while professionals in the UAE are the most concerned about the job situation at 74% of those surveyed,” said a recent poll ‘The Job Situation in Recession’, conducted on more than 10,000 professionals by the Middle East’s job site Bayt.com and research specialist YouGov.
Around the rest of the Gulf region the majority were also similarly concerned, including 67% of Kuwait’s respondents and 61% of Saudi Arabia’s respondents, said the survey, whose results showed that “concerns on the current job situation prevail around the Middle East with 65% of the region’s professionals worrying about job security.”
The survey was conducted to understand how the current recession was affecting people professionally and financially; by eliciting their feelings and attitudes towards the situation of their job, company and financial position, and their own experiences or knowledge of job losses throughout the recent period.
On the survival of their company, the research showed 50% of the Middle East’s professionals expressed concern.
“The UAE’s respondents are the most concerned with 59% citing worries about the future of their workplace compared to 47% in Qatar,” it said.
Job cuts have been widespread around the Middle East with 43% stating there have been redundancies in their workplace, it said.
“The UAE is the hardest hit, with more than half (57%) of the professionals stating that there had been job losses in their workplace; followed by Kuwait and Morocco at 50% and 48%, respectively. In Qatar, 43% of respondents stated there had been job cuts in their place of work,” the survey said.
Of those surveyed, 40% were expecting job cuts in their company in the future, it said, adding similarly, the lack of optimism in the job market was highest in the UAE where 52% of professionals were expecting further cuts, followed closely by Kuwait at 48%.
Qatar performed slightly better with 43% stating they anticipate job cuts, it said.
On a personal level, the survey found 59% of people (in the Middle East region) knew someone - a friend, neighbour, ex-colleague or relative who had lost their job in the last few months.
Almost two-thirds of Qatar’s respondents (61%) knew someone who had lost their job, which “is most probably adding to concerns in the country regarding job security,” the survey said.
Even with job losses and the seeming threat of corporate instability in the recession, it said 47% of respondents (in the Middle East) still considered their country of residence as a lucrative and attractive place to live and work.
Most positive about their country of residence were respondents in Qatar and Saudi Arabia with 65% and 63% respectively having faith in their countries, it said, adding additionally, 12% of respondents in Qatar said that they felt the country was the same as before the recession, while just 4% held that the country was no longer an attractive place to live and work.
“While many professionals around the region feel they are being hard hit at the moment, many of Qatar’s respondents still feel it is the most attractive and lucrative place to live,” said Nassim Ghrayeb, CEO of YouGov.
When asked if they have been able to save money in their country of residence, it found that overall (in the Middle East), 63% of respondents managed to save some money compared to 71% in Qatar, 65% in Kuwait and 64% in the UAE.
Asked how respondents feel their country of residence compares to other countries in the region, respondents in Qatar, 52%, emerged as the most confident that they were doing better than others, followed by Saudi Arabia’s respondents at 49%.
Respondents remained largely optimistic in terms of the time that it would take for the regional job market to improve in their industry, it said, adding Qatar and Saudi Arabia were the most optimistic that it would happen in less than 12 months with 53% and 50% of respondents agreeing.
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