(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) Despite plunging oil prices and economic and political turmoil throughout the region, 2017 is set to be a positive year for workers in the Middle East as salaries are forecast to rise by 4.5 per cent.
According to a forecast issued by the Hay Group division of Korn Ferry, real wages in the Middle East will rise 2.5 per cent due to inflation being recorded at two per cent. While Jordan and Lebanon are forecast to see the highest real wage increases in the region, at 6.3 per cent and 6.1 per cent respectively, the UAE is set to see the slowest real wage growth at 0.5 per cent - down from 0.9 per cent last year.
The data was drawn from Hay Group PayNet which contains data for more than 20 million job holders in 25,000 organisations across more than 110 countries. It shows predicted salary increases, as forecasted by global HR departments, for 2017 and compares them to predictions made at this time last year regarding 2016. It also compares them to 2016 inflation data from the Economist Intelligence Unit.
The forecast also showed that, adjusted for inflation, workers around the world are expected to see real wage increases of 2.3 per cent, down slightly from last year's prediction of 2.7 per cent.
"Although not as high as last year when we saw a three-year high, there are still positive real wage gains across the globe," said Benjamin Frost, Korn Ferry Hay Group global manager - pay. "In addition to predicted salary increases, inflation is relatively low in most countries, which has a positive impact on real wages."
In Asia, salaries are forecast to increase by 6.1 per cent - down 0.3 per cent from last year and 0.7 per cent from the year prior. Real was are expected to rise by 4.3 per cent - the highest globally. The biggest change in Asia is in China, where real wages increases are down nearly 2.5 per cent, from 6.3 per cent in 2016 to four per cent in 2017 - reflecting lower growth predictions for the year ahead.
"Asia continues to drive growth in wages globally as companies look set to increase pay across the board," said Frost. "However, the global labor market is in flux as slower economic growth in mature economies keeps a check on pay rises. In emerging economies, upskilling workers is crucial for companies to maintain a competitive advantage; and those skilled employees can expect to see wages rise as talent shortages in certain regions drive salaries up."
Although top-line salaries will increase 6.4 per cent in Africa, high inflation means the real increase is only 0.7 per cent. High inflation in Egypt means it is one of two countries in the region set to see a cut in real wages at -3.0 per cent, which is worse than the year prior, at -0.4 per cent. Algeria is the other nation in Africa to see negative real wage increases, at -1.1 per cent.
Rohma Sadaqat I am a reporter and sub-editor on the Business desk at Khaleej Times. I mainly cover and write articles on the UAE's retail, hospitality, travel, and tourism sectors.Originally from Lahore, I have been living in the UAE for more than 20 years. I graduated with a BA in Mass Communication, with a concentration in Journalism, and a double minor in History and International Studies from the American University of Sharjah.If you see me out and about on assignment in Dubai, feel free to stop me, say hello, and we can chat about the latest kitten videos on YouTube.