Women in Israel are twice as likely to resign from their jobs than males, both within the Jewish and Arab sectors, according to a report published Sunday by the Israeli Employment Service.
Among almost 280,000 individuals who claimed unemployment benefits from the employment service in 2019, 23% of Jewish women said they had resigned, and 77% had been laid off from their place of work. The resignation rate among Jewish men was 11%.
Within the Arab sector, 12% of female unemployment claimants said they had resigned, compared with 6% of men.
The figures, published to coincide with International Women’s Day, showed that Jewish women represented approximately half of all claimants last year – greater than their share of the population. A key explanation for the higher resignation rate among women than men is due to the desire of women to extend their maternity leave, the employment service said.
The rate of unemployment claimants with higher-education degrees has risen in recent years, reaching one-quarter of all claimants in 2018-19. The data shows that there is a higher share of women claiming unemployment benefits than men at all levels of education.
Women represented approximately 61% of all job seekers with academic degrees, compared with 52.8% of all job seekers without that qualification.
“The figure indicating that the unemployment rate among women in Israel is lower than the OECD average is certainly encouraging and pleasing,” Labor and Welfare Minister Ofir Akunis said. “Alongside this, it is important – and not just on Women’s Day – to pay special attention to women in the labor market and their unique characteristics. We will continue to work on a number of methods to facilitate the integration of women in the workforce, including running dedicated programs providing a solution for this.”
Compared to international data, the unemployment rate among Israeli women remains significantly below the OECD average and is directly correlated to education levels.
The unemployment rate among Israeli women with an academic degree is 3.1%, compared with an average rate of 4.5% across OECD countries. For Israeli women with secondary education or a lower level, the unemployment rate stood was 5%, compared with 11% among OECD countries.
“Despite the progress of women in the Israeli workforce, we recognize problematic trends in their full employment,” Israeli Employment Service director-general Rami Garor said.
“We recently embarked on a special pilot program to deal with the increase in the number of female and male unemployment-benefit claimants over the past 18 months, during which the Employment Service provides time to work on job interviews and ‘tailor’ a customized package for all male and female job seekers to accurately provide the necessary assistance they receive at the bureau,” he said.