Thursday, December 18, 2014

Fair Rent

Yair Assaf-Shapira

Jerusalem Institute for Israel Studies

On November 24, the memorandum of the law for fair rent was published. The law states that the rent paid for an apartment will not increase by more than 2% per year, for three years. How different is the proposed situation from the prevailing one?

The average monthly rent paid for a 3.5 to 4 room apartment in Jerusalem stood at NIS 4,480 in the second quarter of 2014. This amount was much lower than the average paid in Tel Aviv (NIS 6,420), and much higher than the average paid in Haifa (NIS 3,010). The rent for these apartments in Jerusalem saw an average rise of 5.5% in the last year (since the second quarter of 2013 – during a period of four quarters), similar to Haifa (5.5%) and Tel Aviv (5.4%).

Compared to the proposed maximum stated in the law (2% annually), the rise seems to be steep. Compared to the cost of living, measured in the consumer price index, it is even more extreme, since the index rose only by 1% during the period. That means that the average rent rose by more than twice the proposed maximum, and more than five times the rise in the other components of the consumer price index.

Rent prices of smaller apartments in Jerusalem rose by lower percentages (1.3% rise and 4.3% rise in 1.5-2 room and 2.5-3 room apartments, respectively). Rent for larger apartments, sized 4.5-5 rooms, rose more dramatically, by 6.1%.

Will the proposed law change the balance between real estate rent and sell markets? Average purchasing prices for 4 room apartments in Jerusalem stood in the second quarter of 2014 at NIS 1,925,000. These prices rose during the previous year (from the second quarter of 2013) by 9.5% - a very steep rise. Will the prices' change rates be affected by the new law? Only time will tell.

Data sources: Ministry of Construction and Housing – Division of Economic Analysis: Data Tables – Israel Government Portal

Thursday, December 11, 2014

What do you want to be when you grow up?

Yair Assaf-Shapira

During the 2011-2012 academic year, a total of 37,670 students were enrolled in Jerusalem’s academic institutions, constituting 15% of the total number of students in Israel. Among Jerusalem’s students, 20,580 were enrolled at the Hebrew University, 11,410 were enrolled in academic colleges, and 5,680 were enrolled in colleges of education. 

The students’ fields of study varied widely. At the Hebrew University the most popular fields of study were the social sciences (27% of students), humanities (22%), and natural sciences and mathematics (20%). Recently published data from a long-term study by the Central Bureau of Statistics explores the following question, among others: What will students in the various fields do after graduation?

The study surveyed students who had completed their studies in the 2005-06 academic year, using two points in time: 2008 and 2011. An examination of areas of employment (economic sectors) among graduates reveals that two years after graduation, a high percentage of law school graduates (62%) are employed in the business service sector, as are natural sciences and mathematics graduates and engineering and architecture graduates. A high percentage of medical school graduates (72%) are, unsurprisingly, employed in the healthcare, welfare, and nursing services, whereas social sciences and humanities graduates are distributed across several economic sectors. Among humanities graduates the main sectors are education (28% of graduates) and business services (24%). For social sciences graduates the main sectors are business services (29%), and banking, insurance, and finance (18%).

As the years passed, changes in the employment sectors of graduates were observed, and the methodology of the study enables us to examine them. Among 2005-06 humanities and social sciences graduates, the percentage employed in the healthcare, welfare, and nursing sector increased (by 4.4 and 4.7 percentage points, respectively) between 2008 and 2011. Among natural sciences and mathematics graduates as well as engineering and architecture graduates, the percentage employed in the business service sector increased (by 4.2 and 4.8 PPs, respectively) – this already being the main employment sector among these graduates. 

Regarding continuing education, 38% of bachelor’s degree recipients went on to pursue a master’s degree, and evidently the field with the highest degree of continuing students is the natural sciences and agriculture (47% of bachelor’s degree recipients continued to study for a master’s degree). The most popular field for the pursuit of a master’s degree was business and management, with 14% of graduates (about 36% of students who went on to pursue a master’s degree) selecting this field.

Translation: Merav Datan

Sources of data: 
Continuing Studies and Employment Five Years after Receiving a Bachelor’s Degree, Central Bureau of Statistics, November 2014