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Tue 19 Feb 2008 12:00 AM

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Four in five feel underpaid

While 30% claim they earn well under what they should.

More than two-thirds of employees in the Gulf think they are not paid enough, with 30% claiming they earn well under what they should be, according to the ArabianBusiness.com Salary Survey.

The remaining 38.9% said they earn a bit less than the industry average, while another 20.81% think their salary average for their profession.

Only 9.83% said their pay was better than average, with just 2.32% admitting it was a lot more than others in their position made.

As expected, those in low and middle income brackets feel more aggrieved at their level of pay than those in the high income brackets, but even employees earning from $80-$150,000 per year said they feel at least a little underpaid.

A majority of those paid over $150,000 per year view their salary as similar to others in the same position, but 27.71% still think they are not paid enough.

The rising cost of living in the Gulf and the falling value of GCC currencies linked to the tumbling US dollar has reduced the relative value of expatriates' earnings, sparking calls for pay rises, especially by low-paid employees such as construction workers.

Two-thirds of respondents to the salary survey also said their pay has not kept pace with inflation over the last twelve months, meaning they saw their earnings cut in real terms.

Expatriates from Sri Lanka feel the most underpaid, with 80.51% claiming their salaries should be bumped up, followed by India (73.45%), the Philippines (73.22%), Iran (72.73%), Syria (72.48%) and Pakistan (70.72).

Just over 55% of American, 57.08% of British and 48.72% of Dutch expatriates, among the most well-paid in the Gulf, said their salary is not high enough.

Interestingly, a large number of Gulf nationals also said they feel underpaid, despite recent increases in public sector pay in many GCC states as governments look to reduce the impact on inflation on their citizens.

Three-quarters of Bahrainis called for an increase in their salary, followed by 72.86% of Kuwaitis, 70.17% of Omanis, 66.67% of Emiratis, 65.24% of Saudis and 61.11% of Qataris.

In total 8914 people comprising 121 nationalities took part in the ArabianBusiness.com 2008 Salary Survey.

Get interactive: How well do people feel they are paid?

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