Industry Jobs, Wages Pick Up at Long Last

After two years of decline, the gross average wage in industry rose in 2004, and after three years, the numbers of workers in the sector has increased.

Though the year is not over yet, a Manufacturers Association survey predicts that wages in the sector will average NIS 9,630 a month, some 4 percent more than last year. That average wage in industry is 35 percent above the average wage in general.

The number of people employed in industry will have increased 0.7 percent in 2004, or by 2,500 people, the study concludes. This may not sound like many, but it is a sharp reversal after the sector downsized by 40,000 people over the past three years. At present the workforce in industry amounts to 341,000 people.

Most of the new jobs created in 2004 are in high-tech, which hired 5,800, while "traditional technology" created 1,000 new positions. However, the "mixed-technology" sector will lay off some 4,300 people this year.

"Despite the positive data in this yearly roundup, growth was mostly aparent in the first half of 2004," said Manufacturers Association president Oded Tyrah.