Qatar’s labour force is expected to reach 1.7mn by end-2014, adding 120,000 jobs this year, a QNB study has shown, said Gulf Times. After having stagnated during 2009-11, the labour force is now experiencing a new burst of growth. Data on the labour force show similar trends to population data. The labour force reached 1.6mn in the first quarter of 2014, according to the latest survey.
QNB forecasts that it will reach 1.7mn by end-2014 as the economy is expected to add another 120,000 jobs this year. The private sector currently accounts for 74.5% of the total jobs and expatriates make up 94.1% of the labour force. The proportion of white-collar workers has risen since 2010, accounting for about 18.3% of the total labour force in 2013 (comprising legislators, senior officials, managers, professionals, technicians and associate professionals), compared with 16% in 2010.
Among working Qataris, 80.8% hold jobs in the public sector, QNB said. These figures are comparable with those seen in other Gulf countries. Qataris prefer public sector jobs due to the higher pay packages and benefits, QNB said in its “Qatar Economic Insight." Public sector pay increases implemented by the government in 2011 and 2012 have made it even more difficult for the private sector to compete with the public sector in attracting Qataris. In addition, the Qatari population is relatively young and the female participation rate is low.
As a result, the Qatari labour force only accounts for about one third of the total number of nationals, QNB said. Construction is the largest employer of expatriates owing to the large infrastructure investment programme. Almost 40% of the expatriate labour force works in the construction sector. A large proportion of these are low skilled manual labourers on construction sites. The growing population and rising wealth has pushed up employment across a number of services sectors, particularly wholesale and retail trade.
Although oil and gas contribute more to GDP than any other sector, it only employs 6% of the expatriate labour force. Similarly, most manufacturing is capital-intensive, rather than labour-intensive, and its share of the expatriate labour force (8.2%) is lower than its contribution to GDP. The country’s demographics are heavily skewed towards young expatriate men, the report shows. Qataris are estimated to have numbered 279,000 in mid-2014. The expatriate population accounts for 86.5% of the total population.
The bulk of the expatriate labour force is unaccompanied men engaged in the construction and services sectors. This heavily skews the country’s demographic profile, with women accounting for slightly over one quarter of the total population. Nevertheless, the female population is growing as more female move to Qatar as well as male white-collar workers with their families. The population is highly concentrated, with 71% living in the Doha metropolitan area, according to the 2010 census.