Photo Credit: Andrew McIntire/TPS
An Israeli employment center.

A new report published by Israel’s Ministry of Labor showed the employment rate for ages 25-46 in Israel to be at 78.3%, ahead of the 73.7% average of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

The unemployment rate fluctuated a little and is now at 4%. This rate is considered healthy as it is comprised mostly of people who are on brief breaks between jobs, and very few people who are unemployed for a long term period.

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The Israeli labor force is exceptionally diverse, and different sectors of society have very different employment characteristics. Two sectors in which employment has historically been relatively low are Arab women and Ultra-Orthodox (Haredi) men.

The report measured that the employment rate for Arab women was at 38.2%, and 50.2% for Haredi men.

Employment levels in both sectors has improved significantly over the past decade; however, the improvement seems to have recently stagnated for Haredi men.

The report also analyzes the job market in Israel and attempts to project the trends for different professions in the coming years.

One trend, enabled partly by improving technology and partly through changes in regulation, is the rise in freelance workers. The rate of freelance workers has steadily increased for the past three decades and was measured at 7.9% for 2017.

The report looked into the demand for different professions over time. The high-tech professions have seen the biggest spikes in demand in the past five years. For instance, computer programmers have seen a 40% increase in employment, the number of electrical engineers grew by 48%, and 33% more machine technicians and engineers have joined the workforce.

On the other hand, demand for some professions has been in sharp decline. 10% of Office clerks have left the profession in the past five years. Telephone sales representatives have declined by 15%, professional typists by 13% and gas station employees by 17%.

These trends are a worldwide phenomenon and mostly stem from changes in technology. Governments have mostly been unsuccessful in their attempts to revive professions in decline, and economists suggest the efforts should focus on professional training and education that can better prepare people for the ever-changing job market.

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