NGOs no better employers than for-profits, research finds

According to Ben-Gurion University study, the labor market in the third sector is characterized by low wages and inequalities.

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May 16, 2013 02:55
1 minute read.
Ben-Gurion University campus in Beersheba

Ben-Gurion University campus in Beersheba 370. (photo credit: BGU)

Nonprofit organizations working for social justice do not show more fair treatment to employees than their for–profit colleagues, according to study released this week by Ben-Gurion University of the Negev.

According to the study, conducted by Dr. Hagai Katz and Hila Yogev-Keren of the faculty of business and management at BGU, it appears that the labor market in the third sector is characterized by low wages, part-time and temporary employment as well as inequalities, similar to the business and government sectors in Israel.

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Katz and Yogev-Keren analyzed Central Bureau of Statistics and Income Tax data on third-sector employees and wages between the years 2000- 2009 and found that the third-sector workforce is relatively young and well educated, and it is dominated by women and Jewish employees.

In addition, most employment in this field is concentrated in the central region – around Tel Aviv and Jerusalem – and not in the periphery.

The BGU data also revealed that the sector is dominated by part–time and temporary positions, failing to offer job security: under 40 percent of the employees work more than two years in their organization, and there is a decrease of 20% in employment during the months of summer and the High Holy Days.

It was also found that on average, individual incomes from jobs in the third sector account for only 62% of the person’s total income from work that year.

This means that existing wages and jobs in third sector organizations require employees to supplement their income from outside sources, the report stated.

The average monthly salary per job in NGOs was NIS 4,230, significantly lower than the national average in 2009. Consistent wage gaps show depending on field of activity, gender, occupation, nationality, age, and location (center or periphery).

The researchers also found that nonprofit CEOs earn an average salary of NIS 17,047.


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