In the years 2003-2005, pressing economic needs among the ultra-Orthodox combined with a public policy facilitating their entry into the workforce created a turning point in employment rates among them, among men and women alike; in the 25-64 age group, more than 50% of ultra-Orthodox men and almost 75% of women were employed. However, this impressive increase in the rates of employment came to a halt in 2015, and since then, they have remained stable from year to year - among men and women alike. This standstill may stem from the implementation of the current government’s coalition agreements, resulting in a cutback in incentives to employment, and an increase in stipends for yeshiva and “Kollel” students.
Income from Employment
A highly significant component of total income, is income from work. The average level of income among ultra-Orthodox workers in 2016 was 67% of the average income of the total population (including Arab-Israelis). This gap can be attributed to the fact that a large percentage among the ultra-Orthodox work fewer hours and in lower-paying economic branches (for example, in education), and to their low representation in industry and hi-tech. However, we can discern a change in these patterns. The data indicate a decline in the percentage of the ultra-Orthodox employed in education and a rise in the percentage working in industry. If this trend continues, over the long term we can expect to see an increase in per-capita income and as a result, in the standard of living of ultra-Orthodox households.