The Recession Is Over, if You're a Senior Official

President Shimon Peres, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, 38 ministers and deputy ministers, the 79 Knesset members who are not in the cabinet, judges and all those whose salaries are linked to theirs - they all will be getting raises of 5% to 7% come January. This includes compensation for the wage freeze in 2008 and a wage update for 2009.

The wages of directors general and deputy directors general of ministries and statutory corporations (including the National Insurance Institute and the Israel Airports Authority), as well as those whose salaries are linked to theirs, will get raises of a more modest 2% to 3%. This raise is for 2009 only; their salaries were not frozen in 2008, and they received raises of 3.3%-3.8% in January (for 2009).

In total, several thousand people will be getting raises, including both current officeholders and retired cabinet ministers, judges, MKs and the like.

The raises are an automatic update, and will be implemented unless a decision is made to amend or abolish them.

In the private sector, on the other hand, the recession is giving no signs of being over. Large numbers of workers have been fired, while others have had their salaries and benefits cut, all in the name of the economic crisis. Many employers have no intention of updating their employees' salaries, in contrast to officials in high office.