Haredi graduates face more difficulties than peers

Ultra-Orthodox job seekers get fewer responses, lower salaries, according to study.

Haredi men in Jerusalem 370 (photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem / The Jerusalem Post)
Haredi men in Jerusalem 370
(photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem / The Jerusalem Post)
Haredi job-seekers with a bachelor’s degree face greater difficulties in finding work than their non-haredi peers, according to a report published Wednesday from the Jerusalem Institute for Israel Studies.
It takes a haredi graduate an average of 6.58 months to find a job, compared to the 4.6 months it takes a non-haredi person, according to the report.
Additionally, the study found that for every four requests for interview received by non-haredi job applicants, haredim receive three, or 25 percent fewer.
Further, only 4% of haredi job applicants receive more than six responses for every 100 job applications, while 25% of non-haredi job hunters receive more than 6 responses.
And haredi graduates also earn less than non-haredim with similar qualifications.
Half of all ultra-Orthodox workers with a bachelor’s degree earn between NIS 4,500 and NIS 7,200 per month, whereas only a third of non-haredim with equivalent degrees fall into this bracket.
The JIIS study, authored by Dr. Dan Kaufmann and Reut Marciano, identified several factors behind the disparities between haredim and non-haredim in their success at finding work.
They pointed to the general lack of presence haredim have in both virtual and actual social networks, and a consequent lack of contacts with people who could help them in their search for employment.
But the report also said that stigmas associated with haredi employers were also a contributive factor, although it was pointed out that such stigmas were based on ignorance not prejudice.
The authors also found that resume’s submitted by haredi candidates tended to be less “polished” then those of their counterparts, and frequently lacked referees.
In addition to focusing on the experience of ultra- Orthodox job candidates, the study also addressed the difficulties facing haredi men seeking to enter the job market resulting from the lack of secular education provided by the ultra- Orthodox educational system.
The large majority of male haredi high-school pupils do not study the core-curriculum subjects set by the state.
To redress the gaps in their education, many haredi men apply to study in preparatory courses for higher education.
“The absence of basic knowledge in core curriculum topics, especially mathematics, English and computer skills, along with a lack of general study capabilities required for academic study, turns study in these kinds of courses into a serious challenge,” the report noted.
And haredi men can struggle to finance their studies as well, since they will generally have lost the various grants and benefits provided to them as full-time yeshiva students, while also frequently being married with children.
Despite these challenges, haredi enrollment in higher education has almost tripled in recent years, the report noted.
But an additional barrier to employment is the fact that most haredim graduates generally earn their degrees at academic colleges and not at the more elite Israeli universities and educational institutes.
“The state must enact various methods of intervention in order to help haredim integrate into the job market,” the authors wrote in their study.
“This intervention is particularly necessary in the coming years in order to allow the first wave of haredi graduates to integrate into the labor force in the quickest and most effective way.
“The success of this first wave of haredi graduates in finding work will hold great influence in the eyes of the haredi public as to the necessity and effectiveness of academic studies, and has the potential to influence the continued trend of haredi men enrolling in higher education and going out to work,” they wrote.