Israel's Labor Targets for Haredi Women Met Mark Five Years Early

The goals for workforce participation for Jewish ultra-Orthodox men and for Israeli Arabs, however, have not been met.

An ultra-Orthodox woman working in the open-plan office of a high-tech company.
David Bachar

Goals set for the employment of ultra-Orthodox women were achieved five years ahead of schedule, according to data presented to the Knesset Labor, Welfare and Health Committee on Wednesday.

According to the Economy Ministry figures, the percentage of Haredi working women rose to 73.1% in 2015, from 61.5% in 2010. The target was for an employment rate of 63% by 2020.

The overall employment goal for all Israelis between 25 and 64 years – 76.5% by 2020 – was met in 2015, Knesset members were told. Employment for this age group was 76.9% last year.

But the goals for workforce participation for Haredi men and for Israeli Arabs have not been met.

Last year, 32.3% of Arab women worked, while the goal for 2020 is 41%. Last year 76.1% of Arab men of working age were employed, while the goal for 2020 is 78%. Workforce participation for Haredi men was 51.2% in 2015, while the goal for 2020 is 63%.

The Economy Ministry’s employment director, Michal Tzuk, said the budget for vocational training had more than doubled, to 115 million shekels in 2016, up from 50 million shekels in 2015.