Hire in Iraq

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Before the 1950s, Iraq's economy was exclusively based on agriculture, but after the 1958 revolution, considerable development took place in Iraq. With 99.7% of foreign exchange earnings, currently, the economy of Iraq is highly dominated by the oil sector. In the past two years, the Iraq economy has faced twin shocks that sharply contracted the GDP by 10.4% in 2020.

While Iraq was grieving upon the volatility of oil prices, the impact of the global pandemic wiped out existing hopes. After Saudi Arabia, Iraq has the second-largest economy in the Arab world; still, the traces of pandemics can be seen abruptly.

Though the economy is highly dependent on oil exports, the other industries in Iraq are steadily developing, resulting in increased employment opportunities for the working-age people. However, the economy has witnessed a rapid fall, and the government has envisioned an increase in job opportunities keeping the current scenario in mind.

To know more about hiring professionals in Iraq, book a demo with Skuad today.

Overview of Iraq

Population: 3.93 Crores

Gross Domestic Product: 172.12 Billion (USD)

Economic Overview:

Despite, the Iraq economy has phenomenally contracted by 10.4% due to global lockdown and the violation of oil prices in 2020; still, a growth of 2% in 2021 and 8.4% in 2022 is expected to recover the gradual decline.

Market Size:

The market size of Iraq is massive to provide enough employment opportunities to the working-age people of the country. With sectors like agriculture, fishing, transports, energy, tourism, and especially the oil industry, there are opportunities to provide quality life. However, all the manufacturing activities are closely related to the oil industry, contributing 99.7% of total foreign exchange earnings in modern times.

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A Brief Glimpse Of Industries

  • The first and the most significant industry of Iraq is the oil industry, as it is connected chiefly to all manufacturing activities in Iraq. The major industries in this category are petroleum refining and the manufacturing of chemicals and fertilizers. The secondary industry contributes around 51% of the total GDP.
  • The agriculture sector of Iraq contributes just 3.3% to GDP and employs one-fifth of the labor. Developed nations such as Iraq have become more technologically advanced, resulting in a lesser workforce employed in primary activities such as farming, hunting, and fishing.
  • Though Iraq is rich in water bodies, Iraq's fishing industry is still relatively small and primarily based on marine species in the Persian Gulf.
  • The tertiary sector of Iraq contributes around 45% to Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
  • The average connection speed in Iraq is 1.6Mbit on all devices such as laptops, computers, and mobiles. The average download speed is 1.80 Mbps, and the average upload speed is 1.95 Mbps.
  • The Iraq government is taking noticeable steps to improve employment opportunities and introduce flexible employment terms.

Cost Of Living

The cost of living in a country gets determined by various factors such as the city you are residing in, total revenue, taxation policies, overall expenses, transportation, and much more. To give you an insight into the cost of living in Iraq, below, we have curated a table for better understanding. So, an overall view of the cost of living in Iraq is:

A brief breakdown of cost of living in Iraq

Category Area of expense Estimated cost USD Range
Rental Hostels, Pgs, Shared flats, Single accommodation $240.26- $651.34 1
Food and Beverages Household groceries and Household help $100- $200 1
Transport Costs Taxi, Buses, and Trains $25- $50 1
Utilities Miscellaneous Water, Electricity, Internet connectivity $150- $250 1

Cost Of Renting

The average cost of renting in Iraq is 73.40% lower than the United States and 100.17% higher than in India. An apartment with three bedrooms outside the city center will cost $668.97, and an apartment with one bedroom in the city center will cost around $369.40. Also, the prices get heavily determined by your location and your living standards.

The Cost Of Living In Iraq Depends On Your Location

The cost of living gets highly determined by the city you choose to live in. Cities such as Baghdad will cost around $1,781 without rent for a family of four, and for a single person, the monthly cost will be about $540 without rent. If you are choosing to live in underdeveloped or developing cities, the prices will fall drastically.

Top Sectors That Are Expected To Hire In Iraq

Here is the list of the biggest industries in Iraq expected to hire in 2021 and the coming years. Let us have a quick overview!

  1. Petroleum Industry
    Iraq plays a significant role in the international oil market as the country has proven oil reserves of 115 billion barrels. With contributing about 70% of total Iraq’s GDP and more than 97% in government revenue, the government is finding more suitable ways to manage and accelerate better employment opportunities for the working-age people of Iraq.
  2. Agriculture
    Another important sector that contributes around 7% to the country’s GDP is agriculture. In today’s time, the agricultural sector of Iraq has been modernized in irrigation techniques and farming, giving rise to various valuable job opportunities. The major crops grown in Iraq are vegetables, rice, sugarcane, cotton, and dates.
  3. Service
    The service sector includes finance, tourism, telecommunication, retail, transportation, and government services. For instance, it contributes about 40.6% of Iraq’s GDP giving various job opportunities to the professionals looking for employment in the industrial sector.

Top Skills In Iraq

With the changing dynamics of the economy of Iraq, the government has opened doors for various job opportunities for ambitious freshers and experienced entrepreneurs. Different cities hire a different set of skills based on the dominant occupation in that particular city.

Major Industries Hiring In Iraq Include:

  • Oil industry
  • Chemical industry
  • Technological industry
  • Transport
  • Telecommunication
  • Machine building
  • Tourism
  • Petroleum industry
  • Food processing

Top Skills City-Wise Occupation-Wise

Once a country's tourist destination, Baghdad has again transformed into the leading tourist destination after facing many challenges. With the large universities and most successful football teams, the city offers most opportunities in the field of:

  • Education
  • Tourism
  • Management
  • Sports
  • Entertainment
  • Digital marketing
  • Production

Another significant city of Iraq is Mosul that is most active in the manufacturing and industrial sector. The city is the home of many headquarters that offers respectable jobs to the working-age of the city.

Erbil, on the other hand, is a tourism-specific city. Here most of the jobs are available in the tourism industry. Also, the region’s economy gets dominated by the oil and agriculture industry.

The economy of Karbala is based on two sectors. Firstly, the agricultural sectors employ most of Karbala’s population, and secondly, the tourism sector. Karbala’s agricultural business grows fruits, vegetables, and orchard produce.

Hiring Cost

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, most companies have opted for a remote work culture that has brought down the hassle of commutation and enables task completion of hiring at minimum cost from the comfort of the employer’s home.

Although, the cost of hiring is an essential factor to consider while onboarding any candidate. It highly depends on the factors such as the cost of living in the city, the overall expenditure, and training cost.

Predominant fields where remote working is convenient are tutors, entry-level computer jobs, customer services, sales, data entry, translations, content writing, web development, and so many.

Salary for Various Roles

The below table reflects the average annual salary drawn by employees of various sectors in Iraq:

Working Jobs Average Salary (IQD) Average Salary (USD)
Engineering 7,901,247,946 $6,678,996
Management 6,279,839 $5,308
Information Technology 2,992,599 $2,530
Logistics and Transport 4,138,282 $3,498
Human Resource 3,426,236 $2,896
Teaching and Academics 1,593,687 $1,347
Writing and Journalism 2,817,017 $2,381
Construction and Building 5,818,499 $4,918
Administration 2,599,863 $2,198
Oil and Gas 4,905,365 $4,147

The years of experience and skills will considerably shift the compensation structure while hiring in Iraq.

Employment Laws In Iraq

  • The employer must release an employment contract to the employee. Written contracts are more common as compared to oral ones, particularly for office jobs.
  • The contract must include all the necessary information regarding employees and the work.
  • A female employee is entitled to maternity leave for at least 14weeks per year with full payment.
  • The minimum wage offered in Iraq is IQD 350,000 or $293.29. No employee should be offered less than the minimum amount.
  • Daily working hours should not exceed eight per day or 48hours per week.
  • Employees are entitled to take 21 days to leave in a year on full pay after one year of service.
  • In Iraq, the retirement age in the private sector is 60 for men and 55 for women.


Hiring in Iraq requires an in-depth knowledge of laws, trends, hiring cost, cost of living, skills, and much more. Skuad is a platform where we act as your local HR, handling every aspect of recruitment, from selecting to onboarding, taxation, and compliance. 

If you want to hire in Iraq without any hiring stress, get in touch with Skuad experts today.

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