Haredi men attend a job far in J'lem 370.
(photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)
The employment rate for haredi men increased from 35 percent to 45% between 2002
and 2011, according to a report published by the Technion’s Samuel Neaman
Institute for National Policy Research.
This translates to a 28% increase
in haredi male employment in the past decade, compared to a 14% increase in
haredi female employment and a 3% increase in overall employment, the report
Employment among haredi women stood at 61% in 2011, up from 47% in
1997, while the 2011 national average was 66%.
The report, which was
based on Bank of Israel data, is part of a broader project the Neaman Institute
is conducting on haredi participation in various segments of society such as the
economy, military and higher education.
Project head Dr. Reuven Gal said
that the findings were encouraging and demonstrated that it was possible to
effect change in the field of haredi employment.
He added, however, that
for every 10 haredi job-seekers, there is currently only one “secular” workplace
willing to accept them. He said that in order to change this situation, the
government must encourage and even provide incentives for secular employers to
absorb haredi workers.
The study recommended several ideas for further
increasing haredi employment, including the establishment of an extracurricular
framework for teaching haredi school children English, Mathematics and Computer
At present, the haredi school system teaches very little of the
state core curriculum, but the institute argues that there is little opposition
in the haredi community to the three basic studies mentioned.
recent expiration of the Tal Law – which allowed ultra-orthodox men to postpone
military service indefinitely – the government must enable haredi yeshiva
students who are exempt from IDF service to volunteer for national civil
service, Gal said.
“Haredi participation in national civil service will
shows that they share the public burden, and provide the impetus for their entry
into the job market,” he explained.
Gal also recommended that the
government formulate a new plan to recruit haredi men into the IDF, pointing to
a previous Neaman Institute report which found that 90% of haredi military
graduates work and pay taxes.
Around 10,000 haredi men have participated
in military or national civil service in the past five years, according to the
Gal has been an outspoken critic of the High Court of
Justice’s decision to strike down the Tal Law earlier this year, calling the
ruling “a historic mistake” during a Knesset hearing on the issue of haredi
employment last month.