Wage Gap Between Israeli Jews and Arab Counterparts Widens

The average employed Arab Israeli earns only 58.6 percent of what a Jewish Israeli makes, down from 67.2 percent in 2014.

A worker directs machinery being used to build the new airport in Timna, May 3, 2016.
David Bachar

Earning gaps between salaried Jewish and Arab Israelis grew significantly last year, according to a survey by the Central Bureau of Statistics.

The average employed Israeli earned a gross salary of 9,503 shekels a month last year, an increase in inflation-adjusted terms of 2.7 percent from 2014.

The median salary last year was 6,884 shekels a month, an increase in real terms of 3.4 percent from 2014.

The survey found that the median salary equaled 72.4 percent of the average salary, a similar figure to that of the preceding 14 years.

It also found that salary gaps between Jews and Arabs grew significantly – the average Arab earned 58.6 percent of what his Jewish counterpart earned last year, versus 67.2 percent in 2014.

The gaps are larger among those with higher education: An Arab with 0-8 years of education earned 86.5 percent what his Jewish counterpart earned, while an Arab with 16 years of education earned 66.2 percent of what a Jew with a similar education level earned.

The average employed Jewish male earns a gross salary of 12,316 shekels a month, versus an average salary of 6,564 shekels a month for the average Arab male, meaning the average Arab man earns 53 percent of the average Jewish man’s salary, versus 60 percent in 2014.

The average employed Jewish woman earns 8,011 shekels gross a month, versus 4,561 shekels a month for the average employed Arab woman, meaning the Arab woman earns 56 percent of the average Jewish woman’s salary, versus 68.8 percent in 2014.

The survey found that 51.7 percent of salaried employees in Israel last year were men. The average age was 39.5, and the average number of years of education was 14.1 – 13.9 for men, and 14.3 for women.