According to the National Economic Council, Haredim currently comprise about 12% of Israel’s population, and according to Central Bureau of Statistics forecasts, they are expected to grow to about 30% by 2060. A new NEC report titled “The integration patterns of young Haredi men in the labor market” says the integration of young Haredi men aged 25-34 in acquiring an education and in the jobs market is on the rise.
This trend is reflected, among other things, in the decrease in the proportion of those studying in Kollels and are not working, an increase in the rate of those enrolling in academic studies, an increase in the employment rate, especially in Haredi cities, and––possibly the most significant change––a decrease in the proportion of Haredi men employed in typical Haredi world jobs.
The percentage of Kollel students who are not working decreased by about 15 percentage points from 2007 onwards and reached 29% in 2019. At the same time, the share of employees increased by a similar rate, also due to an increase in the rate of those who combine work and studies in Kollel.
The employment rate increased from approximately 38% in 2007 to approximately 50% in 2019, when the upward trend was even stronger in the 25-29 age group.
The proportion of wage earners employed in typical Haredi world jobs, such as teaching and religious services, decreased from 28% in 2012 to about 24% in 2019.
The earning rates of Haredi men are very important in the context of the report, considering the expectation that Haredim contribute to the state coffers at rates that match their share of the population. According to the report, the average monthly income of working Haredi men in 2019 was about NIS 7,700 a month ($26,800 annually), among those who work and are not studying in Kollel.
Haredi men who study in Kollel and do not work earned NIS 2,900 a month ($10,100 annually), and those who combine Kollel studies with work earned about NIS 6,400 ($22,280 annually).
Incidentally, the study found that in their first year in the jobs market, 86% combine Kollel studies with work, but this rate goes down to about 50% after five years.
The income among Haredi men who completed vocational training and those who received academic degrees was higher and stood at approximately NIS 13,700 and 15,000 a month respectively ($47,693 and $52,219 annually), while the income of graduates with an academic degree in mathematics and/or computer science was about NIS 22,000 ($76,588 annually), for Law graduates about NIS 14,000 ($48,732 annually), and social sciences graduates about NIS 13,000 ($45,252 annually).