Umm al-Fahm -Nitzan Shorer
The Israeli Arab city of Umm al-Fahm. Photo by Nitzan Shorer
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Israeli Arab men earn less than their Jewish counterparts for the same work, and Arab women have substantially lower employment rates, according to 2008 data recently released by the Industry, Trade and Labor Ministry and the Central Bureau of Statistics.

Only 22% of Israeli Arab women were employed that year, which is substantially lower than the 66.6% figure for Jewish women.

In contrast, the employment figures for Arab and Jewish men that year were almost identical: 67% for Arab men and 68.8% for their Jewish counterparts.

The unemployment rate for Arab women, 11.3%, was substantially higher than the 7.4% rate for Arab men. And both were higher than the comparable rates for Jews: 6.2% for women and 5.4% for men.

In 2007, salaried Arab employees earned an average gross monthly wage of NIS 5,410, substantially less than the NIS 7,885 earned by Jewish employees.

The average gross salary per household was also much lower for Arabs - NIS 8,818, compared to NIS 14,242 for Jewish households. The figures are in gross terms.

The more education a worker has, the greater the discrepancy between average monthly income among Jews and Arabs grows.

In 2007, salaried Arab employees with at least 16 years of education earned NIS 7,729 a month on average, compared to NIS 11,176 for Jews. Yet the data shows that Arab men worked longer hours, 55.6 per week, compared to 51.8 for Jews.

Arab women, however, worked slightly less on average than their Jewish counterparts.