Report: Israelis working hard, making less

40% of employees making half the national average wage, report reveals in honor of May Day.

Tova Dvorin,

Janitor (file)
Janitor (file)
Kobi Gideon/Flash90

Israelis are working harder for less money, a report released in honor of May Day revealed overnight Saturday/Sunday - and could lead to an entire generation of lesser-educated, lower-income workers.

The Adva Center's annual Income Distribution report notes that 40% of employees hired in 2013 made just 4,854 shekel per month - half the national average. 

Dr. Shlomo Swirsky, Dr. Etty Konor-Atias, Dr. Noga Dogan-Buzaglo, and Dr. Rotem Zelinger conducted the 2016 annual study, Channel 2 reports, and explained that the findings reflect a 30-year trend. 

"It is a story of 'success' - while labor costs indeed drop, this is at the expense of the economy as a whole," they opine in the study. 

Meanwhile, Israel is one of the top OECD countries to employ workers at minimum wage, a result of what the researchers call "minimum investment in workers - in professional training, in working conditions, in mechanization - and from this, productivity has dropped."

36% of women in the workplace are low-income earners, despite being involved in the workforce more than ever before. Part of the problem are the years of investment, time, and money required for sufficient training for high-earning jobs. 

An ever-increasing army of foreign workers are also dragging Israel's overall productivity downward, they said, as cheap foreign labor is often more cost-effective in the short-term than improving working conditions and bringing Israel forward. 

Overall, it said, workers in Israel only earn about 57% of the GNP - with large socioeconomic gaps. Average income for Israel's top earners grew from 130,000 shekel ($34,773) per month to 139,000 ($37,181) per month between 2007-2015 - and accounts for 13% of taxable income in Israel. 

Most of these are executives. Tel Aviv's top corporate 100 make, on average, 5.1 million shekel ($1.3 million) per year - 44 times the national average of 9,592 shekel ($2565) per month and 91 times the minimum wage of 4,650 ($1243) per month. 




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