Daily Israel Report

Revealed: Education and Income in Israel

Data to be revealed at a Jerusalem conference confirms the strong link between education, employment and income in Israel.
By Maayana Miskin
First Publish: 9/18/2011, 10:15 AM

High school students (illustrative)
High school students (illustrative)
Flash 90

Data to be revealed at a conference in Jerusalem has confirmed a strong link between education, employment and income in Israel – and has raised concerns over the country’s future.

The Sunday conference, sponsored by the Taub Center, is to include some of Israel’s top policy makers in the fields of education and economic policy.

Taub Center researchers have prepared for the conference with studies on the impact of education on socio-economic welfare. Researchers found that education dramatically improves chances of employment. Unemployment was found to be at its highest among those with eight or fewer years of formal education, 63 percent of whom are not part of the workforce.

Among those with 9-10 years of schooling, unemployment dropped to 42 percent, while among those who completed 11-12 years it stood at 27 percent. Those who had continued their education after high school had the lowest rate of unemployment by far, with 13 percent not in the workplace.

In addition, studies found that education had a significant impact on income. The average income among those with up to eight years of study completed was 4,827 shekels per month. That number rose to 5,535 among those with 9-10 years of study and 6,611 among those who had completed 11-12 years.

Those who went on to higher education had the highest salaries by far, with an average monthly income of 11,857 shekels.

In addition to the Taub Center studies, attendees will see studies presented by Professor Robert Topel of the University of Chicago, who will speak about similar findings overseas. Topel has found that countries that invest in their citizens’ education – for instance, by increasing the average years of school completed – experience economic growth.

A second professor, Erik Hanushek of Stanford University, will discuss quality of education. The number of years spent in a classroom is less important than what students manage to learn in that time, says Hanushek, who has found a connection between students’ grasp of core subjects and their countries’ economic growth in a study involving 50 countries.

Others will give practical suggestions on improving both quantity and quality of education, based on studies showing the impact of class size, use of classroom time, and more, and education achievement.

Among those making up Israel’s current workforce, 45 percent have completed 12 or fewer years of education. Just 31 percent have completed an academic degree.

After the focus on academics in the first part of the conference, economic experts will meet to discuss Israel’s situation.