The number of Chareidi men in the workforce has dipped during the third quarter of 2018 and now stands at below 50 percent.
While the workforce participation in the general population of Israel is at 82 percent, the number drops to 48 percent in the various Chareidi communities around Israel. It has also been announced that there are a record number of Avreichim and Bochrim learning in Yeshivas – 124,450 in 2017.
For the past two years, the percentage of Chareidi men in the workforce has not dropped below 51 percent, until this past quarter.
The statistics were presented to the Finance Department of the Knesset by the Knesset’s Center for Research and Data.
The stated goal of the Chareidi employment program, to reach 63 percent of Chareidi men in the workforce by 2020, seems to be near impossible at this point based upon these findings.
However, Chareidi women have long since passed the 63 percent target and stand at 74 percent, a statistic that is on par with the general population of Israel.
Another eye-opening statistic is that only 1.3 percent of the Charedi working population works in civil service positions, whereas the target number is 7 percent.
Chairman of the Knesset Finance Committee MK Moshe Gafni blamed the lack of progress on the Commissionership and claimed that they are breaking the law with regards to giving preference to Charedim in the civil service. “There are plenty of Chareidi men who want to earn a living, but the people who speak about including Charedim in the workforce are speaking falsely.”
Head of the Charedi Department of the Israel Democracy Institute, Dr. Gilad Malach, said that he believes the main reason why there was a drop in the workforce was due to the incentives that the country gives out to Chareidi men to stay and learn in Kollel.
“The incentives that the government has given out to Charedim has double the budget for Avreichim and returned the stipend that guarantees income for Charedim. In addition they nullified the stipulation that Chareidi men need to work in order to receive discounts for child daycare and additional discounts. One hand seems to be trying to incorporate Charedim into the workforce, while the other hand puts the brakes on the entire process,” Malach concluded.
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)