Report: Israel Succeeding in Integrating Arabs in Labor Market

OECD commends Israel's performance during global economic crisis and urges government to invest more in professional training and career guidance.

Ofer Vaknin

A recent report by the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) has commended Israel for its efforts to integrate Arabs into the economy, according to the Economy Watch website.

Produced in cooperation with the deputy-director for employment at the Economy Ministry and the Economic Development Authority for the Minority Sector in the Prime Minister's Office, the report says Israel managed to sustain relatively low rates of unemployment throughout the global economic crisis and improved the integration of Arabs into the economy.

The rate of Arab participation in the economy is 52 percent, as opposed to a general rate of about 66 percent.

The rate of participation among Arab women is only 28 percent, while 50 percent of Israeli Arabs live below the poverty line.

A key factor of the underperformance of Arabs in the unemployment figures is the lack of skills in the Arab population, according to the report. The OECD urged the Israeli government to invest more in professional training and career guidance. and urges fovernment 

“Inclusion of the ultra-Orthodox and Arabs in the labor market is at the top of the agenda of the Economy Ministry," said Economy Minister Arye Dery.

“This has tremendous significance, since enhancing employment opportunities levers an increase in growth and strengthening the economy, as well as, of course, strengthening and empowering the employees in the ultra-Orthodox and Arab societies,” he said.