Bank of Israel reports 7% more Haredi men working than two years ago

Most of the increase occurs in private sector jobs, mainly in trade and industry; no significant change seen among employment of ultra-Orthodox women.

Haaretz, Israel/March 7, 2012

Employment among ultra-Orthodox men has increased by 7% in the past two years, according to the Bank of Israel.

In 2011, 45% of Haredi men had jobs, compared with 38% in 2009, according to the central bank's research department, which processed raw data from the Central Bureau of Statistics.

The figures will appear in the Bank of Israel's annual report, to be published at the end of March. In the meantime the central bank has released excerpts.

Most of the increase occurred in private sector jobs, mainly in trade and industry. Employment among ultra-Orthodox men in the private sector rose from 18% of all Haredi men in 2009 to 24.5% in 2011.

Employment among ultra-Orthodox women hasn't changed much in the past two years - it's stayed at about 60%. The government's target for the proportion of Haredi women working by the year 2020 is 63%.

But the report nips any buds of enthusiasm. The 45% employment rate among Haredi men has been achieved before, in the 1990s, after which employment among ultra-Orthodox men decreased. By the year 2020 the government aims for 63% of Haredi men to work but, unlike the women, they're not even near that goal.

One reason for the increase could be a surge in hiring during the past two years. Another is that donations to yeshivas may have declined in that time, suggests the central bank.

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