Study: Ashkenazim in Israel Earn 30% More Than Mizrahim, 61% More Than Arabs

Findings show average Jewish Israeli earned 9,721 shekels in 2012, while the average Israeli Arab earned 6,029 shekels.

Hila Weissberg
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Hila Weissberg

The average Jewish Israeli earned 61% more than his Arab Israeli counterpart in 2012, according to the annual report of the Tel Aviv-based Adva Center for policy research, while the gap between Ashkenazi and Mizrahi Jews was 30%, but shrinking.

The finding, which appears in the Adva Center’s annual report for 2013, is based on 2012 data from the Central Bureau of Statistics, which show that the average Jewish Israeli earned 9,721 shekels in 2012 (the equivalent of $2,785 at current exchange rates), while the average Israeli Arab earned 6,029 shekels.

In an urban setting, the monthly income of the average Ashkenazi salaried employee living in a city was 12,950 shekels per month, which was 42% higher than the urban average, while the average Mizrahi Jewish urban salary was 9,970 - 9% above the urban average. The gap between the two Jewish communities has been shrinking, the study noted.

There was rather good news in the report regarding israel’s gender wage gap. Although on average women earned just 66% of what men did in 2012, many more women worked part-time.

When measured on an hourly basis, women earned 84.9% of what men did on average. And the average number of hours that women worked was also on the rise.

An analysis of the wage costs for CEOs of the companies on the Tel Aviv-100, the index of the largest companies whose shares are traded on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange, revealed an average figure of 377,000 shekels per month, while a similar analysis of the top five executives’ wages at the companies revealed a monthly average of 285,000 shekels per month.

That figure actually declined in 2012 compared to the year before, the Adva Center noted, attributing the change to public criticism of the business sector (around the time of the cost of living protests), financial difficulties encountered by some of the companies and changes in government regulation.

An analysis of the standard of living as measured by a country’s 2012 per capita gross national product shows Israel, at about $33,000, lagging behind many other Western countries. In Germany it was $42,000 while the figure for the United States was $52,000.

On the other hand, the rate of growth of per capita GDP in Israel was higher than a number of wealthy countries in the period between 2006 and 2012.

In Israel, it was 2.5% while, due to the economic crisis from which Israel emerged relatively unscathed, in the United States it was 0.1% and in Germany 1.3%. “Israel’s growth was higher in 2012 than in the countries of Europe,” the report stated, “but if we aspire to a standard of living similar to theirs, growth [here] needs to be [even] higher.”

A street in the Arab Israeli city of Taibeh.Credit: AP Photo/Ariel Schalit

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