Home / SPECIAL REPORTS / CW Salary Survey 2016: The results are in

CW Salary Survey 2016: The results are in

by James Morgan on Dec 3, 2016

The most common average working week among 2016's respondents was 46-50 hours.
The most common average working week among 2016's respondents was 46-50 hours.

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The results of Construction Week’s 2016 Salary Survey have been compiled, and the information collected does not make for especially comfortable reading.

Year-on-year comparisons suggest that the prevalence of wage-related delays has increased, overall job satisfaction has declined, and a larger proportion of respondents are looking to change jobs within the next 12 months. The price of oil, which is currently hovering at $45 to $50 per barrel, has rallied somewhat over the past year. Nevertheless, it remains a far cry from its 2014 peak of more than $110, and the resultant squeeze on market liquidity appears to be adversely affecting remuneration within our industry.

The percentage of respondents who reported having experienced disruptions to their regular salaries in the past year has almost doubled since 2015. Last year, 13.5% of those who completed the survey said that they had witnessed salary delays during the preceding 12-month period. This year, almost a quarter of respondents (22.7%) have faced delays.

The mean average of the delays reported by respondents to the 2016 survey was 60.1 days, a steep increase from 2015’s mean average of 35 days. Delays among this year’s participants ranged from four to 365 days. One respondent reported having experienced two separate salary disruptions during the past year: a seven-month delay, followed by a three-month delay. The individual who reported the longest delay – an entire year – commented: “It has been 12 months so far, and I don’t know what will happen next.”

As was the case in 2015, when asked to describe their salary within a regional context, the most popular choice was ‘average’. However, this year’s survey saw year-on-year increases in respondents who described their remuneration levels as ‘below average’ (24% in 2016, compared to 18.5% in 2015) and ‘well below average’ (8.4% in 2016, compared to just 1% in 2015). Although a larger proportion of participants described their salaries as ‘above average’ in 2016 than in 2015 (20% versus 16.5%, respectively), a smaller number considered their wages to be ‘well above average’ (2.8% in 2016, compared to 4.5% in 2015).

In turn, the overall level of job satisfaction recorded this year has fallen since 2015. When asked to rate how satisfied they were with their employers – with one being the lowest rating and 10 being the highest rating – last year’s respondents reported an overall average rating of seven. In contrast, the mean average rating among 2016’s participants fell to just over six.

Perhaps owing to this combination of increased salary delays, more negative salary perceptions, and reduced overall job satisfaction, more than half (52%) of those who responded to the 2016 survey expect to change jobs within the coming 12 months. Of those who do intend to move on, 83% intend to remain in the GCC region. Of those who are looking to relocate to a different region, Europe is the most popular destination of choice.

It is interesting to note, however, that, when asked to report their basic monthly salaries, the most popular answer among 2016 respondents ($2,001-$3,000) was higher than last year’s most common wage bracket ($1,001-$2,000). Indeed, the 2016 results saw a more equal spread across respondents’ reported rates of pay, with more than four fifths (83.9%) of participants reporting monthly earnings in excess of $2,000, compared to 73% of last year’s cohort.

This year, nobody reported monthly earnings of more than $40,000, compared to two lucky individuals who completed last year’s survey. However, 2% of this year’s respondents reported a basic monthly salary of less than $500, compared to 1% in 2015.

As in 2015, the most common benefit reported by respondents to this year’s survey was air tickets home – a perk that was received by 84.3% of participants. Accommodation or accommodation allowance came in second place (73.6%), followed by a company car or car allowance (58.3%), commission or bonuses (31.9%), and school fees or schooling allowance (20.4%).