Friday, September 29, 2017

Between Man and Fellow Man

Yair Assaf-Shapira

Can people be trusted? This question was one of those posed as part of the social survey conducted by the Central Bureau of Statistics, whose data for the year 2016 were recently published. The results indicate that the majority (59% of those ages twenty and over in Israel) thinks that one should beware of trusting others, and that most people can't be trusted, while only 41% of the residents of Israel think that in general, most people can be trusted. We tried to determine who feels that most people can be trusted, and who has reservations.

Sometimes there is an assumption that the wealthier people are, the less they trust others, but it may be that the reality is just the opposite – the survey reveals a connection, but it found that it was actually people of a higher socio-economic status who tended to have trust in others. Among those with higher incomes (NIS 4,001 and above, per capita, for each member of the household), about half of the respondents (51%) stated that people can be trusted, as opposed to 40% among medium income earners (NIS 2,001 to NIS 4,000 per capita), and only a quarter (25%) of low income earners. When examining non-economic variables as well, the findings were similar. Thus a much higher level of people who have an academic degree, as compared to those who don't have higher education, tend to trust others (61% as opposed to 36%).

Does religious identity influence the response? Among Jews, it is clear that higher levels of religious people (54%) and secular people (52%) feel that others can be trusted, as opposed to Haredim (40%) and traditional Jews (36% to 41%).

And what about Tel Aviv?  Is it "dog eat dog" in that city? Not necessarily – most (54% among the Jews) residents of Tel Aviv actually do tend to trust others, as opposed to 46% of (Jewish) Jerusalemites. In fact, among the big cities, Tel Aviv is the city where the highest percentage of people who tend to trust others was recorded.

It seems that satisfaction with life is also related to the tendency to trust others. Among Jews, a majority (54%) of people who stated that they are very satisfied with their lives said that most people can be trusted. The more satisfaction with life decreases, so does the tendency to trust others decrease, with only 15% of people who are not satisfied with their lives at all, thinking that you can trust most people.

And finally – it is interesting to see that age also influences the results. Thirty to forty-nine year-olds trust others at higher levels (42%-46%) than other age groups do (37%-41%).

To our readers – thank you for your ongoing trust in us, we apologize if we have offended you in any way, and wish you well over the fast.

Translation: Gilah Kahn

Friday, September 15, 2017

On and off the beaten track

Yair Assaf-Shapira

The summer holidays are over, the kids have returned to school, and the high holy days are upon us. Anyone who did not vacation this summer might want to do so now.

According to the 2016 Social Survey of the Central Bureau of Statistics, about two-thirds (67%) of persons aged 20+ in Israel, or 3.6 million people, went on vacation either abroad or within Israel during the past 12 months. Twenty-four percent reported that only holidayed in Israel, 12% traveled abroad, and 31% reported that they took vacations both in Israel and abroad.

Jerusalem residents vacation less than the average Israeli. Among Jerusalem residents, 40% went on vacation in Israel, compared with 55% among all residents of Israel. Among Jerusalemites, 30% went abroad, compared with 43% of Israeli residents. Presumably these figures stem from the low socio-economic status (on average) of the city's residents, but they might also reflect a cultural aspect of the city's population, a large portion of whom cannot afford or do not wish to vacation.

The difference between the percentage of Jewish vacationers in Jerusalem and the proportion among Jews in Israel (39% versus 46% for vacationing abroad, and 54%, compared with 60% within Israel) is smaller than the difference for the Arab population of Jerusalem relative to that of Israel (9% compared with 25% abroad and 10% compared with 27% in Israel).

Contrary to expectations, among the three main Jewish population groups of Jerusalem, the percentage of vacationers is evidently identical to or higher than the figure for Israel in general. In the secular and loosely observant population, 59% went on vacation abroad, compared with 55% among the same group in Israel in general. As for vacationing in Israel, the percentages were identical, at 64%.

Among Israel’s religious population, 41% of Jerusalemites vacationed abroad, compared with 32% for Israel in general. A comparable difference between Jerusalem and Israel was recorded for religious people vacationing within Israel (64% vs. 58%).
Among the Haredi population of Jerusalem, 17% vacationed abroad, and the same percentage was recorded for Haredim in Israel. As for Haredim vacationing in Israel, the trend was opposite to the other Jewish population groups, with 38% of Haredi Jerusalemites vacationing, compared with a higher percentage (50%) for Haredim in Israel in general.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

The Employment and Earnings of Women in Jerusalem

Shaya Rosenblum

In 2014 the average hourly wage among men in Jerusalem (NIS 45) was lower than the figure for women (NIS 48). In Israel generally, in contrast, the average hourly wage among men (NIS 58) was 19% higher than the average wage among women (NIS 49). In Tel Aviv the discrepancy was even greater, at 24% (NIS 72 vs. NIS 58). Should we conclude, therefore, that women’s status relative to men in Jerusalem is better than their relative status throughout Israel?

The answer, regrettably, is no. Several factors contribute to these wage rates, but simultaneously they also reveal the sorry state of affairs among a significant portion of Jerusalem’s women.

Jerusalem has 166,600 women of working age (25-65), 38% of whom are Arab. Among Arab women, about 22% have an academic education, compared with some 50% of Jewish women. Having a higher education increases one’s earning power, and accordingly, Arab women earn less than Jewish women. The labor force participation rate among Arab women stands at 21%, compared with a rate of 79% among Jewish women. Evidently, given the current levels of education, if the participation rate of Arab women were to increase, the average hourly wage of Jerusalem’s women would decrease.

Thus, we could envision a situation in which the media reports on a decline in the earnings of Jerusalem’s women (although no individual woman actually suffered a loss of income) because of increased participation on the part of women who lack a higher education and earn less than the current average hourly wage.

Similarly, increased employment and labor force participation rates among workers at the low end of the salary spectrum can also have a negative impact on the average hourly wage. In reality, individual wages might not have changed, and the living standards of those entering the workforce might actually have improved, but the average wage – the figure typically reported in the media – might have declined.

It is very important, therefore, not to rely on just one indicator in assessing the current state of affairs. Every statistic must be examined in its particular context.

Translation: Merav Datan


Yair Assaf-Shapira

At the end of 2016, some 2.5 million households lived in Israel. A household is defined as a group of people (or one person) who live in an apartment, and have a common expense budget for food. For example, a family can form a household, but flatmates who share the food budget will also be defined as such.

What is the number of persons in your household? The average HH size in Israel is 3.3 persons, but among the various population groups there is a difference in the sizes of HHs. For example, among the Jewish population, the average number of persons in a HH is 3.1, and among the Arab population it is 4.5. In Jerusalem, the average household size is 3.9, and among the Jewish population in the city it stands at 3.4.

The average, however, does not indicate the distribution. Households usually begin their lives small, as one or two people units, grow, and then split up and shrink, as a new cycle begins. A large part of a person’s life span is spent in a small household, and therefore a large proportion – almost half (43%) of the households are small, and include one or two people. Among the Jewish population in Israel, smaller households are more common (47%), and in Tel Aviv and Haifa they constitute the large majority (70% and 63% respectively) of the households. Among the Jewish population in Jerusalem, the share of small households is similar to that in Israel at 47%.

Among the Arab population in Israel, small households are much less common, and their share stands at 19%. In Jerusalem, the proportion of small households among the Arab population is only 15%.

Small HHs have different needs and consume different services, a notable example is apartment size. The share of small apartments (up to 3 rooms) in new construction in Israel is relatively small (9.5%), and according to the data, maybe it should be enlarged.

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Business Arnona

Lior Regev

Arnona (municipal tax) is the main source of regular income for Israel’s local authorities, including the Jerusalem Municipality. Residential Arnona, however, does not typically cover the cost of the municipal services provided to residents. The rate for non-residential properties differs from the rate for residential homes. For this reason, local authorities compete for Arnona from businesses: businesses pay more and use relatively few municipal services.

Which part of the city generates the most Arnona for the Municipality of Jerusalem?

The amount generated depends on the types and sizes of properties in each part of the city. For example, places of religious worship pay the low rate of NIS 63 per square meter, while offices and commercial businesses larger than 150 square meters pay the high rate of NIS 334 per square meter. Because the amount due is determined by square meters, the larger the property, the higher the Arnona. In some cases, the rate is further affected by the size of the property: if it is beyond a certain threshold, the cost per meter rises. And in some cases, the location can also affect the rate.

By cross-referencing the number of properties and the Arnona revenues they generated in 2016, we can identify several phenomena. The revenues from the Mahane Yehuda market and Malha mall areas are comparable, at NIS 25 and 28 million, respectively, before discounts. Yet the number of non-residential properties in the Mahane Yehuda area stands at 1,600, compared with only 300 in the Malha mall area – a five-fold difference (!). The reason apparently lies in the large number of small businesses in the market area, in contrast to the mix of businesses in the mall, which has many regional or national commercial franchises.

Moreover, the rumors about the death of the City Center evidently overstated the situation. About 1,670 businesses operate in the triangle formed by the Ben-Yehuda Street, Jaffa Road, and King George Street, generating some NIS 44 million for the city, before discounts.

The largest Arnona-generating areas are the industrial and commercial zones of Talpiot and Giv’at Sha’ul. In recent years the mix of properties in both zones has been continuously diversifying. Today they house auto-repair shops, stores and places of commerce, business offices, some remaining traditional industries, and the beginnings of knowledge-intensive industries. Interestingly, the number of non-residential properties in Talpiot is larger than the number in Giv’at Sha’ul by nearly 1,000 (2,518 compared with 1,548), yet the difference in income generated amounts to only NIS 7 million (105 compared with 98 million, before discounts).

Translation: Merav Datan