Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Women's Education and the Labor Force

Caroline Kahlenberg

A recently publicized Science and Technology Ministry study revealed that in almost half of Israel's universities, women made up only 20% of the faculty. While this severe under-representation of women is not new, it occurs today even at a time when women in Israel are more highly educated on average than men. The gap between women's educational achievements and their situation in the university labor market invites us to explore the relationship between gender, education, and the workforce more broadly. 

Over the past decades, women in Israel have been acquiring higher education at an increasing rate. In 1969-1970, women made up 46.9% of all first-degree students at institutions of higher education, reaching 54.1% in 1989-90 and 56.6% in 2012-13. In 1980 only 32% of Israel's doctoral students were women, but by 2012-13 this figure rose to 52.1%. 

Yet despite the steep increase in women's education, the situation in the labor market still contains major gaps. As the Van Leer Jerusalem Institute's 2014 Gender Index shows, contrary to popular opinion, women's educational achievements do not alone necessarily translate into better pay, job positions, or status in the labor market. In 2012, the average monthly (gross) salary in Israel for men (NIS 11,400) was 50% higher than the average for women (NIS 7,600). While part of this can be attributed to the fact that women work fewer hours than men, the gap also exists in hourly pay: In 2012, the average hourly wage in Israel for men (55 NIS) was 17% higher than it was for women (47 NIS). 

Jerusalem's labor force contains a slightly different story. Because of the special status of its workforce (with especially low participation of Jewish men and Arab women), the gender gap in workforce characteristics is not as stark. In 2012, the average hourly wage for men in Jerusalem (47 NIS) was comparable to that for women (46 NIS), and the gap between men and women's monthly salary was only 25% (as compared to 46% in Tel Aviv, and 61% in Haifa). 

If we look at a different aspect of Jerusalem's labor market—at overall labor force participation among the entire 24-54 year-old population, rather than at characteristics within the workforce—we can see a major gap between Jerusalem men's and women's participation according to educational attainment. As the graph displays, even when comparing men and women who have completed the same level of education, labor force participation rates are consistently higher among men. However, as women's educational attainment increases, so does their participation in the labor force, which narrows the gap between men and women's participation. Out of those who last attended primary and intermediate school, only 10% of women and 81% of men participate in the labor force. Among those with secondary school education, 43% of women and 89% of men participate in the workforce. Meanwhile, 71% of women and 91% of men with post-secondary school education, and 80% of women and 90% of men who last attended academic institutions, participate in the labor force.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

"Market" Survey

Dafna Shemer

Jerusalem Institute for Israel Studies

Recent years have seen increased tourism in markets throughout the world. The local market, Mahane Yehuda, is no exception. We examined the mix of businesses in the market, so as to see how this trend has manifested here. 

The boundaries of the market are not clearly delineated, but we defined them for the sake of this assessment as covering the streets between Jaffa Road to the north and Agripas to the south, Ets-Haim (the roofed part of the market) to the east, and the Iraqi market and Mahane Yehuda Street to the west. In all we examined a total of 370 businesses situated within an area of 19 dunams (1 dunam is approximately ¼ acre). By way of comparison, the Malha Mall has nearly 230 stores spread out over some 20 dunams in a building with two and a half floors of commercial space. 

Most of the market’s businesses still focus on selling food. Fruit and vegetable stands are the most prevalent type of stall (82 businesses), constituting 22% of all market businesses. There are 25 kiosks for nuts, seeds, and snacks (7% of businesses), 22 butchers (6%), 18 bakeries and 18 spice shops (5% each), 12 fish shops (3%), 9 pastry shops, and 7 pickled goods stalls. In all, these comprise over half the businesses in the market (52%). 

The market has a wide variety of businesses, including 24 clothing and accessories stores, 15 housewares stores, 3 stores for cellular telephone accessories, 3 jewelry stores, 2 lottery stands, and one synagogue (on Ha-Egoz Street). 

Specific types of stores are concentrated in certain areas. Thus, for example, if you have a craving for fish, chances are good you would buy it on Ha-Tapu’ach Street, which has four fish shops (and until recently a fifth), a third of the fish shops in the market. If you want to buy meat, you likely looked for it on Ha-Harov Street, which has five butchers, a quarter of the market’s total. The Iraqi Market and Georgian Market have large concentrations of fruit and vegetable shops.

If you want to take a break and eat something, you’ll find the widest variety of restaurants and pubs near the intersection of Ha-Tut and Ha-Egoz Streets, where your options range from falafel to kubbeh, fish and chips, or jahnun. A total of four food service chains operate in the market, three falafel stands, and one ice cream stand. Some of the restaurants and pubs stay open after the market stalls have closed, thus extending the hours of market activity. 

If you make plans to meet someone near the Ethiopian spice shop, you’d better be specific: each of the parallel streets Ha-Shazif, Ha-Afarsek, and Eliyahu Banai has a shop of Ethiopian spices, legumes, and dried foods. All findings are current as of our tour and examination of the market, after we used the services of Google’s street view as a basis. 

Translated by Merav Datan