GNcareers, from Gulf News

Wanted pay hike: Most UAE residents unhappy with income

Wanted pay hike: Most UAE residents unhappy with incomeImage Credit: Supplied

With the cost of living continuing to rise and many employees not getting any salary increase last year, five in ten people in the UAE are expressing discontent with their current incomes.

In a survey conducted among 12,158 residents in the Middle East and North Africa (Mena), 50 per cent of UAE professionals said they are unhappy with their salaries.

A significant number, 87 per cent of UAE residents, are seeing an increase in the cost of living- and consequently spending more out of their pockets- yet many, around four in ten or 40 per cent, did not receive a pay raise in 2014.

The respondents attributed the increase in their cost of living expenditures to rising rents (86 per cent), as well as to the increasing prices of food and beverages (59 per cent) and utilities (56 per cent).

As a result, people in the UAE are struggling to save a portion of their earnings, with 27 per cent saying they are not saving anything at all.

These are the findings in the latest salary survey conducted by market research company YouGov and job site Experts said the results of the study only show that there is a need for companies to adjust the compensation packages of their staff, if their goal is to retain their employees.

Elissavet Vraka at YouGov said the high cost of living in the UAE, coupled with the stagnant salaries, is encouraging employees to quit their jobs and look for better opportunities elsewhere.

''There is no doubt that the need for a salary boost, especially as prices continue to climb, is a very real one. After all, this is impacting employees' loyalty to their company and encouraging them to jump ship,'' said Vraka.

''If they want to retain their employees, employers, on their part, will have to find new ways to improve their salary packages.''

According to the National Bureau of Statistics, the country's consumer price index (CPI), a measure of price changes in good and services, increased by .90 per cent in March 2015 from a month earlier.

An economist said the month-on-month increase ''is a bit too much'', which only means that consumers in the country are spending significantly more of their salaries to cope with the rising living costs.

When asked if they're earning more than their peers, 66 per cent of UAE professionals said their salary is lower than what other companies in their industry offer.

Among those who received a salary increase last year, a quarter were either very or modestly happy with their raise. The majority (52 per cent) are ''quite unhappy or very unhappy'' with what they received.

Another 24 per cent said their raise was fair ''in light of their contribution to the company or the organisation's financial situation.''

Considering the financial situation they are in, it is not surprising to see a significant proportion (32 per cent) of UAE workers expecting a pay raise of up to 15 per cent this year.

Almost a quarter (24 per cent), however, are being realistic, saying that they don't expect to see any adjustments to their paycheque in 2015.

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Source: Cleofe Maceda, Senior Web Reporter,