The Subjective Wellbeing of Emirati Youth: Does Work Really Matter?

Anita Poplavskaya, Tatiana Karabchuk


One’s employment status is differently associated with subjective wellbeing and this is also the case for young adults. On one hand, young people involved in the labour market do not feel isolated and lonely. They report being engaged in meaningful activity, live more active social lives and make a contribution to the economic life of the nation. On the other hand, having a job increases their levels of stress and anxiety, especially when combined with family, education and work responsibilities. Given the differential impact of work, our study explores the relationship between the subjective wellbeing of Emirati youth and their labour market status. We use the “Monitoring of Emirati Youth 2017” data for analysis. The results of this pilot study show that being employed is positively associated with feelings of happiness and life enjoyment for young Emiratis. Combining both work and studies generates more negative feelings such as loneliness and sadness as well as less life enjoyment, but helps deter depressive symptoms. Finally, being unemployed is associated with feelings of loneliness and depression; yet, unemployed Emirati youth nevertheless seem to enjoy their lives more than those combining work and studies. 


Emirati youth; subjective well-being; happiness; depression; sadness; loneliness; employment status

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