Money.Israel news photo: Flash 90

The second quarter of 2011 saw a 1.2% drop in real income for employees, according to data released Sunday by the Central Statistics Bureau. A similar dip in post-inflation earnings took place between December 2010 and February 2011.

Employees' salaries were up by 2.8% in current prices, following a 4.2% rise in the first quarter. As of May, the average employee salary was 8,454 shekels per month.

The data give backing to arguments made by those protesting the rise in housing prices, who say that despite Israel's relatively strong economy, many citizens are facing a slow erosion in their lifestyle.

Those who are self-employed were not included in the study, which covered data from the roughly 3.025 million Israelis who work as hired labor. The data found a 2.3% increase in the number of employee positions open, continuing a trend of 3.2% growth in positions in December-February.