Exploring Under-Representation of Young Emirati Adults in the UAE Private Sector by Examining Emirati Job Satisfaction
Georgia Daleure, Al Shareef Zain
April 26, 2015
This study examined Emirati job satisfaction using an online survey to understand Emirati under-employment in the private sector. To date, double-digit Emirati youth unemployment has plagued the UAE even though it is a regional economic leader whose private sector has the potential to create tens of thousands of new jobs each year. The saturated public sector is so vastly preferred by Emiratis that many of them avoid working in the private sector despite abundant opportunities there, even when prolonged unemployment is a consequence.
More than 1,000 employed Emirati participants rated 14 job satisfaction criteria using an online survey. Data were analyzed using correlation and regression analysis, and mean tables were constructed to examine mean ratings of satisfaction criteria among demographic factors including employment sectors. The study found that job satisfaction was higher in the public and semi-government sectors than in the private sector for factors relating to compensation, culturally friendly working conditions, and flexibility to study and/or take care of family responsibilities. Only one rating factor—opportunities for advancement—was significantly higher in the private sector than in the public or semi-government sectors. Overall job satisfaction was high even in dangerous and physically demanding public sector jobs, such as those related to off-shore oil rigs, the military, and the police.