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The average gross monthly wage for salaried employees rose in 2007 by 2% to NIS 7,645, up from NIS 7,466 in 2006.

According to figures released last Thursday by the Central Bureau of Statistics, there were 2.807 million salaried employees in Israel in 2007. This included 2.717 million Israelis, 70,000 legal foreign workers and 19,000 from the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

The total number of salaried positions in 2007 rose 4.7%. The average salary for Israelis was NIS 7,767 a month gross, but foreign workers received only NIS 4,281 on average.

The lowest salaries went to foreigners working in home nursing care, who earned only NIS 1,988 a month in gross terms.

This certainly does not compare to the highest paid on the list: Workers of the Israel Electric Corporation and the Mekorot water company, who made an average of NIS 18,322 a month.

The next highest paid were employees in the financial sector, with average wages of NIS 15,018 a month. Public employees averaged NIS 12,011, while workers in industry made NIS 10,714.

In transportation the numbers were NIS 8,916 a month; and construction, NIS 6,728.

The 363,000 employees working in education made do with much less, at NIS 5,986 a month; but this was higher than those working in community service, at NIS 5,205.

The 51,000 agricultural workers earned NIS 4,979 a month, and the pay for those who work for manpower contractors was only NIS 3,192 a month gross, well under the minimum wage.