Despite the recent wave of salary cuts, the gross average wage among Israeli salary earners rose 0.7 percent to NIS 8,160 in the first quarter year-on-year, the Central Bureau of Statistics reported Monday. The number of salaried workers dropped 0.8% to 2.8 million during the same period, the bureau said. There was a 1.2% contraction in the number of workers between January and March on an annualized basis, while the gross average wage grew an annualized 2% based on fixed prices, the bureau reported. Sector-by-sector analysis showed that in the first quarter of this year the transportation sector saw the biggest rise in salaries, 4% to NIS 9,773, while the banking, insurance and financial-services sectors suffered the biggest drop, down 3.2% to NIS 14,871. Israel Electric and the Mekorot water utility paid the highest monthly wage, averaging NIS 19,430 per month in the first quarter. Workers in the financial-services sector earned an average monthly salary of 14,871. Workers in the banking sector had an average salary of NIS 8,765. The hospitality and food sector had the lowest average monthly salary, NIS 3,792. It also had the largest decline in salaried positions, 4.5%, during the first three months of the year. Hi-tech and information technology workers, who represent 16% of the business-services sector, earned an average salary of NIS 17,689 in the first quarter. The average monthly salary in the overall business-services sector was NIS 8,765. Within the business-services sector, workers in the security and cleaning sub-sector, who represent 23% of the whole sector, earned an average monthly salary of NIS 3,878. The average monthly wage in the health and welfare-services sector was NIS 6,714. It saw the biggest rise in salaried positions, 1%, in the first quarter, Meanwhile, the situation on the job market continued to deteriorate. During May, demand for workers fell by 6%, compared with April, and stood at 27,133, according to the AllJobs Web site monthly report. From the beginning of the year, demand for workers on the Web site dropped by 17%. The number of advertised positions within the insurance sector plunged by 20% during May, to 273 positions from 340 positions in April. During the same period, demand for hi-tech workers declined by 15%, with 6,813 advertised positions in May, down from 7,816 positions in April. In the finance sector, demand for workers was down 8% in May, with 2,573 advertised positions, compared with 2,791 positions in April. Demand for student jobs rose by 5% in May; 1,656 positions were advertised, compared with 1,576 positions in April. According to a TIM survey, 80% of job seekers are searching for work via the Internet, and 58% are using the AllJobs Web site as a source.