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Jerusalem at work
Less Jerusalemites – men and women – go out to work than in any other major city in Israel: men's participation in the local workforce is 53%, compared to the national average of 62%, while 40% of women work, compared to 53% in all of Israel. Broken down into sectors, we find that slightly more Jewish women in the city work than do their male counterparts – 52% and 50%, respectively – a situation which is reversed in the rest of the country (59% and 62%, respectively); meanwhile, many less Arab women (14%) work than do men (59%), which reflects trends in that sector nationally (23% and 60%, respectively) somewhat more closely. 

In terms of gender, the percentage of Jerusalem’s Arab men who participate in the workforce exceeds that of their Jewish counterparts (59% as opposed to 50%), while in Israel that ratio is much closer (60% and 62%, respectively). 

So how many people in Jerusalem participate in the workforce? In 2010, that number was 267,800, or 9% of the total number of employed individuals in Israel. Of those, 48% worked in public services (33% in Israel, 26% in Tel Aviv), 3% in banking, insurance and finance (4% in Israel, 12% in Tel Aviv), and 13% in business services (15% in Israel, 25% in Tel Aviv). By comparison, Tel Aviv had 397,800 employees (14% of the total for Israel) and Haifa 168,800 (6% of the total for Israel).

And how many of residents are employed within the city in which they live? For Jerusalem it is a sweeping 90%, compared to 76% of Haifa’s employed residents, 69% of Tel Aviv’s employed residents, and 48% of employed residents of Israel who worked within their city of residence.

It was also found that the rate of participation in the workforce increases with level of education. The gap between the rate of participation in the workforce among high school graduates and that of university graduates with bachelor’s degrees is particularly striking. In Jerusalem the highest rate of participation in the workforce is among those with master’s degrees, compared to Israel and Tel Aviv, where the highest rate of participation in the workforce is among those with bachelor’s degrees.

At the same time, the rate of participation in the workforce among those with doctoral degrees is lower than among those with master’s or bachelor’s degrees.

"Degree of religiosity" also plays a role in the workforce. In the Jewish sector the rate of participation of people aged 20 and above who define themselves as secular, traditional, or religious measured 66% in Jerusalem (68% in Israel), while among the haredi (ultra-orthodox) population that number is 44% (50% in Israel).

In the non-Jewish sector, the rate of participation of those aged 20 and above in the workforce also decreases as the degree of religiosity increases.

Finally, how much do people earn? In 2010, the average monthly income of Jerusalem households whose head of household was employed measured NIS 12,400. In Tel Aviv the figure was NIS 18,500, in Haifa – NIS 17,600, and in Israel – NIS 16,700. The average gross monthly income of salaried male employees (non-independent) in Jerusalem was NIS 7,700, lower than the figure for Tel Aviv – NIS 10,800, for Haifa – NIS 11,000, and for Israel – NIS 9,700. The average gross income for salaried female employees (non-independent) measured NIS 5,900, which was lower than that for Tel Aviv – NIS 7,800, Haifa – NIS 6,500, and Israel – NIS 6,400. And the average (gross) hourly wage among Jerusalem men was NIS 41, compared to NIS 59 in Tel Aviv, NIS 60 in Haifa, and NIS 51 in Israel. The average hourly wage among Jerusalem women was NIS 43, compared to NIS 50 in Tel Aviv, NIS 45 in Haifa, and NIS 43 in Israel.

The employment market in Jerusalem is characterized by low rates of participation among haredi men and among Arab women. In addition, it is characterized by large salary discrepancies among various population groups. These characteristics created a phenomenon unique to Jerusalem, reflected in relatively small gaps between the monthly salaries of men and of women, and large gaps in the numbers of their working hours. Thus, we find that the average hourly wage of women in Jerusalem is 5% higher than that of men, in contrast to the situation in Israel, where the average hourly wage of women is lower than that of men (-16%), and in contrast to the situation in Tel Aviv (-15%) and Haifa (-25%). The average number of work hours per week among men in Jerusalem was 44, as it was in Haifa; in Tel Aviv it was 43, and in Israel 45. The average number of work hours per week for women in Jerusalem was 33, compared to 38 in Tel Aviv, 34 in Haifa, and 36 in Israel. 

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