Regional Data Sources

Below is a selection of the regional MENA-based sources which feature most frequently in our reports, where we acquire most of our secondary research from, for regional comparisons.  Their data is either used when making domestic and regional comparisons against our own data, or throughout the written commentary which features in all of our reports.


GulfTalent, Bridge the Data’s local partner, provide us with their candidate data, used in our industry salary reports, as well as helping us to survey their network of regional HR decision managers, to make sure we provide the highest quality employer-provided compensation data to our clients.

Founded in 2005, GulfTalent is the leading online recruitment portal in the Middle East, used by over 6 million experienced professionals from all sectors and job categories. It serves as the primary source of both local and expatriate talent to over 8,000 of the largest employers and recruitment agencies across the region.


National Bureau of Statistics (UAE)

The National Bureau of Statistics publishes a handful of administrative data on unemployment, infrastructural development and healthcare measures etc.  We find this dataset informative when comparing labour participation and annual earnings of UAE Nationals over time. This helps us shed some light on the integration of Emiratis into the UAE’s private sector over time.


Central Department of Statistics and Information (KSA)

This data portal publishes labour force participation and unemployment data by industry, gender and age group within the Saudi Provinces.  We find this information helpful for our Saudi reports, when studying the wage gap between Saudi Nationals and expats, the gap between men and women and the gap between individuals employed in the same sector, of different age groups.  Over the years, this dataset has confirmed a rise in labour participation among women in the service sector, as well as a rise in the percentage of Saudi’s employed in the private sector.


Department of Statistics (Jordan)

The Jordanian Department of Statistics publishes quarterly unemployment data, as well as several other local indicators.  Unlike the World Bank data, these datasets are updated more frequently and are typically more current.  We use this information to make cross country comparisons and predict the flow of talent to & from several neighbouring countries, based on changes in the local unemployment rate.



Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics (Egypt)

CAPMAS is a nationally run portal in Egypt, that publishes annual data on demographics, which covers population, unemployment, birth, death and more.  CAPMAS also publish social statistics on education, university enrollment and graduation rates.  The portal also reports on macroeconomic data such as foreign trade statistics and growing industrial sectors.  We at bridge the data utilise this local portal to descriptively analyse the expected future supply of skill among various employment functions and the impact on wages as a result of changes in the demand and supply of skill.


Princeton Iran Data Portal

This initiative translates and aggregates raw data from Persian-language governmental sources.  Among these datasets is the 5-year Iranian census, which is translated to English and includes labour force indicators, education variables such as graduation majors and female-to-male ratio of graduates, within various majors etc.  This data helps us with our various Iran reports, where we analyse the talent supply available in the country and how firms looking to locate in Iran can benefit from this niche and unknown region of the Middle East.

International Data Sources

Our research includes data from a wide array of secondary international research sources.  The sources vary depending on the report for which they’re used.  However, below is a selection of the sources which feature most frequently in our reports, where we acquire most of our secondary research from, for global comparisons.  Their data is either used when making international comparisons against our own data, or throughout the written commentary which features in all of our reports.



The World Bank


The World Bank’s Open Data initiative is intended to provide all users with access to World Bank data, according to the Open Data Terms of Use.  The data catalog is a listing of available World Bank datasets, including databases, pre-formatted tables, reports and other resources.  At bridge the data we use a variety of indicators published on the portal, including macroeconomic variables, health and education outcomes, as well as private sector growth indicators.  These variables assist our analysis of amenities and human capital resources in various labour markets.


International Monetary Fund

The IMF’s Regional Economic Outlook Report is often cited in our UAE, KSA and GCC cost of living reports.  This annual briefing provides us with valuable information on growth in the hydrocarbon sector and non-oil sector.  These reports also briefly describe fiscal and monetary policy in the Middle Eastern countries, which impact the labour market directly and are essential to our job market analysis.


International Labor Organization

The ILO is a specialised agency of the United Nations that hosts a wide range of labour market datasets.  The Working Conditions Laws database, the World Employment and Social Outlook and the Global Wage Report are some examples of the ILO’s annual publications, which we find useful.


UN Data Explorer

The UN Data Explorer aggregates several IMF, World Bank, ILO and various other UN sub databases.  The platform allows access to data on a wide range of topics from world tourism data by country – which we utilise in our cost of travel and transport analysis, to human development and gender inequality indices which contribute to our job market analysis. This platform is a great starting point for researches wanting to access thousands of databases from a single starting point.


The European Union Open Data Portal

The European Union Open Data Point contains information on the employment and working conditions within EU countries.  Specifically, unemployment rates by skill level, the labour cost index, minimum wage data and vacancy rate estimates by country.  These data points assist us in forecasting the flow of Western expatriates from EU countries into GCC countries and the potential impact on the regional wage rates and labour market competitiveness.


UK Data Service

The UK Data Service is a single point of access to a wide range of UK secondary data, including large-scale government surveys, international microdata, business microdata, qualitative studies and EU and UK census data from 1971 to 2014. The census data in particular, reports invaluable information on the cost of child care, female labour participation, employment challenges, annual earnings etc by education and job role.  This information is used in cross-quantitative comparisons between the UAE and the UK to determine the differential welfare gains between UK expats in the UAE and UK residents.


Institute of International Education (Open Doors)

This database reports annual statistics on the leading places of origin and sought-after degrees by international students obtaining education in US universities.  This cross sectional dataset enables us to monitor the quality of talent in the Middle East, by studying the number of local students seeking degrees abroad and their various specialisations.


The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU)

We use the EIU data to assess the performance of several countries in the MENA region in non-hydrocarbon sectors by looking at the volume of exports, imports and main destinations of exports. This information enables us to understand the regional growth trends and the demand for certain job roles in the manufacturing and service sectors each year.


RAND Corporation

RAND’s policy research, and in particular, their health policy studies, are useful for our cost of employee insurance section.  Their surveys and experiments allow us to compare the cost of insuring an employee in the UAE with that in the UK or the US, for example.  In addition to marrying their findings with our local data, we also use their analysis of expanded insurance coverage to predict the effects of mandatory health insurance coverage in the GCC on the cost of premiums and medical care.