Israel’s economic inequality worsened in 2018, for first time in 5 years
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Unemployment is at 40-year low of 3.4%

Israel’s economic inequality worsened in 2018, for first time in 5 years

Despite widening gap between rich and poor, data published by the Central Bureau of Statistics shows the average gross income of an Israeli household increased by 4.3% since 2017

Illustrative. A man gives money to a homeless person, as he holds an umbrella to protect them both from the rain on Jaffa Street, Jerusalem, on November 3, 2014. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90/File)
Illustrative. A man gives money to a homeless person, as he holds an umbrella to protect them both from the rain on Jaffa Street, Jerusalem, on November 3, 2014. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90/File)

The gap between Israel’s richest and poorest stopped narrowing in 2018, when it began to grow for the first time in five years, according to new data released by the Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS) on Tuesday.

The top decile of Israeli families had a net income of NIS 42,500 ($12,278), 8.4 times higher than that of the bottom decile — NIS 4,786 ($1,300), the data showed. The top earners’ expenses were just 2.4 times higher than the bottom decile — NIS 21,200 ($6,100) compared with NIS 9,000 ($2,500).

The data, however, also showed that the average gross income of an Israeli household in 2018 was NIS 21,063 ($6,085) per month — a 4.3% increase in real income compared with the previous year. The average gross monthly expenses totaled NIS 16,475 ($4,700), a 0.5% increase.

The report also showed that multinational companies operating in Israel had higher growth rates and paid significantly higher salaries than local firms, Calcalist reported.

On Monday, the CBS released data showing unemployment in October fell to 3.4%, a 40-year low.

Last week, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) released a report saying that Israel’s economy is expected to continue growing in the next few years, albeit at a slightly slower rate.

Israel’s economic growth is forecasted to “ease slightly, but will remain close to 3% in 2020 and 2021,” the OECD said in its Economic Outlook projections report.

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