Employees in Saudi can rejoice. 2019 brings with it a good piece of news: Salaries are estimated to increase by 5-6% in the Kingdom on average, according to jobs and recruitment consultancy Cooper Fitch.
Will estimates turn to reality?
In its latest Salary Guide, Cooper Fitch predicts salaries for mid-level to senior professionals will increase by 5-6% in the Kingdom on average, but this is subject to the current prevailing economic conditions.
Certain sectors and individuals will have a significantly higher increase in their salaries. However, overall, the key objective for Saudi in 2019 is to improve the employment levels for both nationals and expatriates as there continues to be a significant demand for both, the guide reads.
VAT has also played a role, creating new employment opportunities in tax advisory and the tax consulting space.
Vision 2030 is in full stride
The implementation of VAT, as part of Vision 2030, has also helped stabilize the economy generated non-oil-based revenue for the government.
Vision 2030 and the unbanning of women driving is also looking to raise the employment rate in the country, with the guide expecting a 15% rise in women in the workforce over the next 12 months.
Cooper Fitch estimates GDP growth in Saudi Arabia to be between 4-5%; this is based on the average oil price of $71 in 2018 and various factors contributing to the growth and diversification of Saudi’s economy.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) predicts a lower GDP growth of circa 3%, however. This is predominately based in a projected increase in crude oil production, but Cooper Fitch believes the growth actual will be ahead of the IMF predictions, partly driven by non-oil activities.
The non-oil growth will be directly in line with Vision 2030 where we see the continued drive of this visionary strategy into projects such as Red Sea, NEOM, Riyadh Gate and many other projects, the guide said.
“We believe that Saudi Arabia represents the most exciting economic market globally with all the best consultants and advisors being attracted to the country to help support this very exciting initiative,” Cooper Fitch commented.
Despite an unstable oil economy at the moment, with Brent crude trading at $58.13 per barrel, Saudi’s diversification efforts are bearing fruit, and ensuring a brighter future for its citizens, as reflected by Fitch’s forecast. OPEC’s production cuts have gone into effect, and prices are beginning to reflect this. This will bolster faith in the still oil-heavy economy of the Kingdom.