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The gross average wage dropped 1.2% in the third quarter, to NIS 8,120 a month, the Central Bureau of Statistics announced yesterday.

It seems the economic slowdown is being felt in almost all sectors. However, the big drop came in the financial sector, where salaries fell 8.2% over the three-month period, as compared to the previous quarter. In energy and electricity wages actually rose 0.3%, and in construction, they rose 0.2%. There are 2.8 million salaried workers in Israel.

There was a 1.7% increase in the number of people working in food and lodging in the quarter. Another area still growing is sales and customer service, whose demand for employees is growing.