How much do state employees make compared to the Israeli average?

The current average monthly salary for state employees, numbered at 35,918, stands at NIS 17,368.

 New Israeli Shekel banknotes are seen in this picture illustration taken November 9, 2021 (photo credit: REUTERS/NIR ELIAS)
New Israeli Shekel banknotes are seen in this picture illustration taken November 9, 2021
(photo credit: REUTERS/NIR ELIAS)

According to a Finance Ministry report released on Tuesday, Israeli state employees enjoyed a 1.3% rise in their average monthly wage in 2021 compared to their 2020 salaries.

The current average monthly salary for state employees, numbered at 35,918, stands at NIS 17,368, significantly more than the NIS 11,277 overall average monthly salary which suffered a 2.6% drop in October 2021.

According to the report, the wages in the government and public sectors are rising at a much faster rate than in the private sector in the last 20 years.

The rise in wages can also be attributed to government offices’ handling of the issue of working during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The pandemic accelerated plans for the digitalization of all government services, the report said, adding that this plan meant government workers were given more flexible employment models that included working from home.

Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid, Israeli Presdint Reuven Rivlin and Israeli Ministers pose for a group photo of the newly sworn in Israeli government, at the President's Residence in Jerusalem on June 14, 2021. (credit: YONATAN SINDEL/FLASH90)Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid, Israeli Presdint Reuven Rivlin and Israeli Ministers pose for a group photo of the newly sworn in Israeli government, at the President's Residence in Jerusalem on June 14, 2021. (credit: YONATAN SINDEL/FLASH90)

This change significantly expanded the scope of the employment of state workers and caused their wages to rise substantially – despite the 0.8% decrease in the number of jobs in government ministries for the first time in over a decade.

The report also criticized the current payroll system used in the public sector and singled out the government ministries in particular.

The system is “heavily reliant” on seniority as a factor in determining an appropriate wage for workers, the report said, while skill is hardly a factor. The public sector’s system focuses on seniority and education level rather than specific skills or work productivity, it added.

Due to this, the current structure is unsuitable for various professions, such as analytical professionals, who earn more in the private sector as a result.

“Data shown in this report provides a glimpse into the challenges posed by the current wage structure in hiring skilled and outstanding workers as state employees,” Kobi Bar Natan, the commissioner of wages and employment agreement in the Finance Ministry, said.

“We will continue to work to make the necessary changes within the existing frameworks in order to improve productivity and public service in Israel.”