Israel's job market

Israel workers
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Updated 2023-10-23 11:54

The job market in Israel is very active. By the close of 2022, the unemployment rate was 3.8%, much lower than in France, which was 7.2%. Additionally, the rate of long-term unemployment is only 0.5%. When considering all groups of people, Israel's employment situation is superior to most OECD countries.

In 2022, the economy expanded by 6.4%, and the projection for 2023 is a growth of 3%. The standout areas in Israel's economy are high-tech, innovation, artificial intelligence, construction, and tourism. All these sectors are actively recruiting international talent, and the hiring process is solely skill-based without any discrimination. When it comes to tourism, being proficient in languages other than Hebrew is undoubtedly advantageous.

Israel has gained global recognition for its accomplishments in various fields, including medical research and innovation, IT, cybersecurity, agro-tech, and fine chemicals, to name a few.

The most thriving sectors in Israel are high-tech, innovation, and artificial intelligence, collectively making up approximately half of the workforce. This is why the country has earned the nickname “Start-up nation” since 2009. Notably, Israel boasts the highest per capita number of technology start-ups globally. The country's laws actively promote investment and entrepreneurship, boosting the economy and making it easier to create new jobs.

Israelis are extensively educated and skilled in these sectors. However, this doesn't hinder new immigrants from securing jobs if they possess the required skills. In terms of employment, the crucial factor is never the individual's origin but rather their ability to perform the job exceptionally well and possess a valid work permit.

However, starting from January 2023, numerous economists globally, as well as within Israel, have raised concerns about potential economic impacts due to specific political changes within the country. For instance, there has been a noticeable trend among investors, especially in the thriving high-tech sector, to pull back their investments. Simultaneously, other investors have issued warnings about potential withdrawal, albeit as a temporary measure.

As the population continues to expand, the demand for infrastructure and housing is immense. Consequently, the construction industry is experiencing significant growth. Projections indicate a 4.1% expansion in 2022, amounting to $30.5 billion. Notably, a substantial portion of the workforce in this sector comprises foreign workers, presenting a promising opportunity for newcomers.

Another crucial sector within the Israeli economy is tourism. With a population of 9.5 million, as per the latest census, the country is witnessing a significant influx of visitors. In 2022, following two challenging years due to the Covid-19 crisis, Israel welcomed 2.7 million tourists. While this figure is still notably lower than the 4.55 million recorded in 2019, it indicates a noticeable upward trend. However, the ongoing security concerns in the country frequently pose a threat to this sector, which presently provides 141,000 jobs, constituting 6% of the job market, and generated $5.8 billion in revenue during 2022 (compared to $20 billion in 2019).

Working conditions in Israel

Laws and collective agreements govern various aspects of employment, such as working conditions, hiring practices, dismissals, work hours, vacations, sick leave, maternity leave, and salaries. For instance, the equality law mandates that employers must provide equal pay to all employees, regardless of gender. Discrimination during the hiring process is strictly forbidden. Employment contracts must adhere to conditions that meet or exceed the standards of law or collective bargaining agreements.

Labor rights are safeguarded through both labor courts and trade unions. Paid vacation entitlements are relatively modest under labor law. Individuals working a 45-hour 5-day a week are entitled to 10 paid vacation days per year, while those on a 48-hour, 6-day week receive 12 days. Nonetheless, this allocation can be negotiated to increase when the employment contract is established.

The flexible and dynamic nature of the job market in Israel fosters a sense of confidence, prompting dissatisfied Israelis to readily explore new job opportunities that align better with their desired pay, working conditions, or career advancement prospects.

In Israel, the standard legal working week consists of 42 hours, which adds up to 182 hours per month. The minimum legally mandated paid vacation is one day for every month worked, although this can vary depending on an employee's seniority and any prior agreements. Additionally, employees are entitled to one and a half days of sick leave per month worked.

Public holidays in Israel are scheduled according to the Jewish holiday calendar. Salaries must be deposited into the employee's account by the 9th day of each month. As for retirement age, it is set at 62 for women and 67 for men in Israel.

The employment contract in Israel

When bringing on board a new employee, it is crucial to ensure that a personal employment contract is signed in writing, even though it may be possible to do it verbally. This contract outlines all the necessary details and clauses about the working conditions, such as the contract's duration, working hours, job benefits, salary structure, social security coverage, and contributions. It's worth noting that employment contracts in Israel can be intricate, even for native Israelis.

An employment contract is paramount to ensure workers' conditions align with Israeli labor laws. If you have any uncertainties about specific clauses in your agreement, it's advisable to seek advice from a lawyer. Additionally, for more information about Israeli labor laws, you can refer to the official website of the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs.

Minimum wage in Israel

Starting from April 1, 2022, the minimum monthly wage for a full-time employee stands at 5,300 shekels, approximately equivalent to 1,300 euros at present. It's worth noting that employers must cover the cost of their employees' transportation.

The minimum wage falls short of a sufficient living standard for a single person in Israel's major cities like Haifa, Tel Aviv, and Jerusalem. The high rents and overall cost of living make it challenging to make ends meet. Tel Aviv, in particular, is renowned as one of the most expensive cities globally. In the 2023 ranking, it ranked third, surpassed only by New York and Singapore in terms of living expenses.

The working environment in Israel

Life in Israel is known for its fast pace and challenges, but when it comes to working conditions, they are generally not unpleasant. Hierarchical relationships are less rigid than in Europe, which creates a more comfortable atmosphere. The absence of the Hebrew custom of “vouvoiement” (formal address) also plays a role in this relaxed environment. Furthermore, the dress code is casual, and you won't often see suits and ties, even in official institutions. This freedom in attire creates a colorful and laid-back working environment for many.

Things are somewhat different in the service, health, and administration sectors. Israelis, in general, are not known for their patience; they can be demanding and may become heated quickly in certain situations. There have been reports of incidents of violence in hospitals involving patients' families and medical staff recently. However, on the bright side, the relationship between colleagues in these sectors is usually friendly and cordial, often resembling a familial bond.

The process of dismissing employees in Israel is generally more straightforward compared to Europe. However, there are certain strict prohibitions on firing employees in specific situations. It is forbidden to dismiss an employee who is ill, currently serving in the army (as Israelis are required to serve in the reserve army for about one month a year), pregnant, or within sixty days of returning from maternity leave.

Regulated trades in Israel

In Israel, certain professions are subject to regulations, including lawyers, doctors, pharmacists, nurses, architects, engineers, chartered accountants, and others. To work in these professions, you must obtain equivalent diplomas; in some cases, you may be required to pass specific examinations.

Do I need to learn Hebrew to work in Israel?

To integrate successfully into the country, it is essential to learn Hebrew and be able to speak and write it at least at an intermediate level. Although many Israelis are fluent in English, having a good command of Hebrew is crucial for day-to-day interactions and total integration. Taking Hebrew language courses before immigrating has advantages, as it can expedite finding a job.

For more information:

Economic activities in Israel:

ttps://embassies.gov.il/paris/AboutIsrael/Economy/Pages/Secteurseconomiques.aspx

https://anglo-list.com/le-droit-du-travail-en-israel/

https://www.gov.il/BlobFolder/generalpage/employment_guides/fr/emploi_1.pdf

The employer's duties:

https://www.cpa-dray.com/blog/obligations-de-lemployeur-en-israel123/#:~:text=Un employeur a l'obligation de payer à son employé,soit 182 heures par mois

https://www.jewishagency.org/fr/emploi/

Ministry of Labor:

https://www.gov.il/fr/services?subject=labor_and_employment

We do our best to provide accurate and up to date information. However, if you have noticed any inaccuracies in this article, please let us know in the comments section below.