Israel has grown meteorically since its founding not only in immigration, Torah institutions, and agricultural advances, but also in economics.
Data published today in honor of Israel's 67th Independence Day shows the amazing extent of Israel's economic growth since its founding just two-thirds of a century ago.
The Blue and White Division, operating within the Ministry of Economy and jointly run by the Israel Manufacturers Association and the New Histadrut Labor Union, published the numbers, which show as follows:
- The number of employees in Israeli industry is up from 65,000 in 1948, to nearly 400,000 direct workers
- Israeli exports (excluding diamonds) have soared from $5 million to $47 billion (!)
- The number of production plants was approximately 2,300 factories in 1948, and is 124,000 today – 54 times more.
- 1,024 Israeli manufacturers mark their products with a “Made in Israel” symbol, compared to 760 just two years ago.
Though the manufacturers and employees often view with each other and have competing interests, these are only in the micro. In the macro picture, however, both bodies are thrilled with the trend revealed in the stats released today. The Chairman of the “Made in Israel” division at the Manufacturers Association, Dr. Ron Tomer, said that "Israel’s resilience is dependent on its economy almost as much as on its security." Einav Kabala, Director of the Histadrut’s Trade Union Division, said that the Histadrut "views the preservation and encouragement of Israeli industry in general as being of great importance, with even more significance in the periphery."
Both emphasized the great importance of continuing to encourage "Made in Israel" goods, known colloquially as "buying blue and white," the colors of the Israeli flag.
"On Israel’s 67th Independence Day," Kabalah said, "we must continue encouraging the purchase of Israeli goods, while encouraging local industry and its employees, and increasing the State’s economic and social resilience."
"A healthy economy will allow appropriate employment and fair wages to the country’s citizens, as well as availability of products suitable for the Israeli consumer, together with high quality and competitive prices," noted Dr. Tomer. "Israeli industry, which is the largest employer in the periphery and proudly exports flagship products to the entire world, is the means for achieving these targets. Strengthening industry by choosing to purchase Israeli products will make it stronger… We would ask everyone to bear this in mind as one of their considerations when buying something, be it big or small.”
The Ministry of Economy, the Manufacturers Association of Israel, and the Histadrut estimate that for every worker in industry, two to seven new jobs are created in other branches of the economy – with an emphasis on the services sector that surrounds industry. These services provide industry with transportation, insurance, catering, financial services, and more.
Economy Ministry Deputy Director-General Yinon Elroy, who also heads the Blue and White Division, noted that “the blue and white industry is one of the State of Israel’s strategic assets, and is represented in almost every industry. Israeli industry has become a world leader thanks to its creativity, enterprise, innovation, and advanced technology."
Addressing popular Israeli concerns of high consumer costs, Elroy said, "We are focusing our activities on finding the middle path between the efforts to reduce the cost of living, and maintaining competition and the uniqueness of Israeli industry."