Majority of GCC residents prefer working for government, finds report

Most GCC residents would prefer to work for their government rather than be employed by a business, according to a new study.

Gallup’s State of the Global Workplace report, released today, found that more than 60 per cent of workers would opt for public sector roles, with the highest number in Saudi Arabia where 63 per cent of people in Saudi Arabia would prefer a government job, as opposed to 28 per cent preferring to work for a business.


In the UAE, 62 per cent would rather work for the government, and 32 per cent for a business. In Kuwait, the figures at 61 per cent and 31 per cent respectively, and in Bahrain 60 per cent and 33 per cent.

Each of these countries outdo the average percentage for the Middle East and North Africa region, which stands at 58 per cent of people signaling a preference for government roles.

Other findings show that an impressive 72 per cent of people in the UAE are employed full time for an employer – the highest figure of the 155 countries included in the study and some 10 per cent better than the region’s second highest scorer Bahrain (62 per cent). At the other end of the scale, Saudi Arabia only registered 36 per cent, and Kuwait 39 per cent.

Perhaps less impressive are the GCC’s employee engagement rates. In the UAE, only 16 per cent of employees were found to be engaged, with 69 per cent not engaged, and 16 per cent ‘actively disengaged’. In Saudi Arabia, a slightly better 17 per cent were found to be engaged, 62 per cent not engaged, and 21 per cent actively disengaged.

A similar picture was painted in Kuwait – where 15 per cent were engaged, 65 per cent not engaged, and 20 per cent actively disengaged – and Bahrain, where 16 per cent were engaged, 67 not engaged, and 16 per cent actively disengaged.

These figures reflect the global average, with 15 per cent of the world’s workforce identifying as engaged, and 85 per cent either not engaged or actively disengaged.

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