x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

UAE tops world full-time jobs league

More of the UAE workforce – 59 per cent – have full-time jobs than in any country in the world, a new survey suggests.

ABU DHABI // More of the UAE workforce – 59 per cent – have full-time jobs than in any country in the world, a new survey suggests.

Gallup, the American management consultancy company, put employment-related questions to 1,000 UAE residents as part of its “payroll to population” study based on more than 136,000 interviews in 136 countries.

Gallup did not count those who are self-employed, working part time or unemployed, or not obliged to work.

Of those surveyed, about 20 per cent of the sample were nationals, about 40 per cent were Arab expatriates and about 40 per cent were non-Arab expatriates.

Although the 59 per cent figure is not in itself surprising, since an estimated 85 per cent of the population are expatriates and by definition employed, experts said it illustrated how attractive the UAE was as a place to live and work.

“Firstly, the UAE offers a safe and secure lifestyle with a good working environment,” said Haji Masthan, a human resources manager.

He said tax-free salaries, enabling residents to save money, was a major factor in the number of people coming to the UAE to find work, as opposed to European and Asian countries wih high rates of tax.

Maj Gen Nasser Al Menhali, assistant undersecretary of the Ministry of Interior, said: “This is a main feature of the UAE, we welcome people from all nationalities and give them the best environment to work here.

“That’s the reason large numbers of people come to work here and contribute in the development of the country.

“The leadership of the country have laid emphasis on employing all nationals and giving full rights to foreigners who work here.”

Mr Al Menhali said that people from around 200 countries work in the UAE and they have full freedom and enjoy best services, health, safety and security.

In Gallup’s “payroll to population” study, or P2P, The UAE and Bahrain bucked the trend for the region.

“In the Middle East and North Africa, a combination of low workforce participation and high unemployment continues to drive the low P2P rate,” Gallup said.

“While some small Middle East countries such as Bahrain or the UAE have P2P rates higher than 50 per cent, the much larger countries of Egypt, Iraq, Morocco, and Yemen, at only 12 per cent, have lower P2P, bringing the region’s total score down to 19 per cent.”

According to the poll, 1.3 billion people in the world, about one in four adults, had full–time employment through a single employer in 2013, with full–time employment as low as 5 per cent in some countries.

Iceland was rated second with 54 per cent of its population in full-time work, and Bahrain was third with 53 per cent.

The US was in 10th position with 43 per cent.

The study showed that countries such as Sweden, Bahrain and Russia rank near the top because each has high numbers of people working directly for the government or government-owned entities.

Countries with the lowest P2P scores tend to have large informal economies with high self-employment.

In Nepal, which has only a 9 per cent P2P rate and $690 (Dh2,534) per capita gross domestic product, 38 per cent of the adult population was reported as being self-employed.

Similarly, Burkina Faso has a 5 per cent P2P rate and $652 (Dh2,394) per capita GDP, and 28 per cent of adults are self-employed.

This pattern is the same in many sub-Saharan countries, helping to make the region’s 11 per cent P2P rate the lowest of any region in the world.

The results are based on telephone and face-to-face interviews with approximately 1,000 adults in each country, aged 15 and older, conducted in 2012 and 2013.

anwar@thenational.ae