Three decades ago, Israeli rates of non-employment among men were very similar to those of the OECD. this chapter shows the change – sometimes, substantial – in work patterns among non-ultra-Orthodox Jews, ultra-Orthodox Jews and Arab Israelis. Not all of the conventional wisdom on Israel’s labor market turns out to be correct. The relationship between education, employment and income is described here while the extent of education and employment among different population groups is detailed according to gender, religion and degree of religious observance. The phenomenon of foreign workers in Israel is examined and the negative income tax programs in Israel and the United States are compared.
This paper appears in the Center’s annual publication State of the Nation Report – Society, Economy and Policy 2009.