Students working fewer hours due to COVID-19, Shoresh study warns

Several data sources were used to calculate the true extent of COVID-19 damage among students.

OVERSHADOWED BY heavily funded Orthodox outreach groups, pluralistic options on campus are either small or non-existent. Students at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem study in 2018. (photo credit: HADAS PARUSH/FLASH90)
OVERSHADOWED BY heavily funded Orthodox outreach groups, pluralistic options on campus are either small or non-existent. Students at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem study in 2018.
(photo credit: HADAS PARUSH/FLASH90)
Israeli students between the ages of 18 to 24 work fewer hours than non-students, Shoresh Institute vice president Prof. Ayal Kimhi found in a recent study – and their salary was lower as well. Students comprise 29% of that age group.
A student who is younger than 24 would earn NIS 3,395 per month compared to the NIS 3,752 a non-student would make. This approximately 10% difference might be the result of the better educated group working in jobs which offer more pay per hour than menial jobs do.
“Everybody is releasing studies that talk about the damage currently being suffered by students,” Kimhi told The Jerusalem Post. “Yet such studies don’t always have solid data to back them up like this study has.”
What he means is that by asking a group of people subjective questions such as, “Are Zoom classes effective?” or “Were you hurt by the COVID-19 lockdown policy?” The answers obtained would be subjective.
“Who wasn’t hurt because of COVID-19?” he said. Solid data “is what makes this study unique.”
Because the Central Bureau of Statistics doesn’t ask subjects if they are students or not, Kimhi and his team had to use a bit of statistical detective work.
By taking figures provided by the CBS for 2020 and comparing them to the various occupations and economic branches studied in data from the 2018 Household Expenditure Survey, they were able to prove that indeed, students are financially hurt by COVID-19 more than other groups.
Education is, of course, age-related, with the number of students in each age group dropping – to 26% among those aged between 25 to 29 and 13% between the ages of 30 to 34 years of age.
“Right now everybody is talking about ‘The Lost Generation,’ an imprecise term as I don’t know if it really is a generation,” Kimhi said. “But it is very clear that Israel must have high-quality, skilled people if it wishes to continue being a leading society in terms of science and technology.”
“When young people aren’t offered help to finish their studies, we run the risk of losing them – and we may never get them back,” he said. "The ramifications for Israel’s long-run growth and social gaps could be dramatic."


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