Worker street sweeper
Holon street sweeper. Photo by Tal Cohen
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It will cost the economy NIS 11 billion to raise the monthly minimum wage to NIS 4,600 from its current level of NIS 3,850, according to Ruby Ginel, director of the Economics Division of the Manufacturers Association of Israel. NIS 7.5 billion of that bill, he added, will be footed by the business sector.

The calculation is based on the assumption that those earning between NIS 1,000 and NIS 3,000 more than minimum wage will demand - and receive - a salary hike to preserve their earnings edge.

Two weeks ago the Ministerial Committee for Legislation approved a gradual increase, over the course of 15 months, of the minimum wage. The hike represents a rise of approximately 19.5%.