Survey: Plenty of jobs in Israel, but not all are good ones

Unskilled workers have their choice of jobs but the skilled may have to hustle, an Israeli employment site says

A client seeks work at an unemployment office in Jerusalem (Photo by Yossi Zamir/Flash90)
A client seeks work at an unemployment office in Jerusalem (Photo by Yossi Zamir/Flash90)

If you’re young, relatively unskilled, and interested in living in the Tel Aviv area, there’s a place – and a job – for you in Israel. An end-of-year survey by Israeli job site AllJobs shows that during 2014, the number of open positions for “general workers” – which the site defines as unskilled labor that could include anything from warehouse work to supervising a trash collection crew – grew 9%, with over 75,000 jobs offered to job-seekers.

There were also plenty of jobs for high-tech workers, at least in specific areas. Overall, the number of tech jobs on offer was 6% greater in 2014 than in 2013, but some skills are more in demand than others.

Unskilled work, however, was in highest demand, the AllJobs survey said. General work generally does not require academic credentials (although having a diploma doesn’t hurt, AllJobs said) or a license. Most of these jobs pay slightly above the minimum wage, which is currently NIS 4,300 ($1,075) per month for full-time work (42.5 hours per week).

Also in demand were workers in other low-skill service occupations, including sales and customer service, where AllJobs said the number of job offers jumped 45% this year, as well as in restaurant and event work and tourism-related jobs, such as hotel work. Most of the new positions this year were in the Tel Aviv and Sharon areas. Tel Aviv suburb Rishon Lezion experienced the largest increase in worker demand, with 13% more jobs on offer throughout 2014 than during the year before.

Between the 75,000-plus general positions available and the openings in sales, wait staff and kitchen work, and tourism, there were over 200,000 openings for workers with relatively few skills and little education during 2014 – and there are currently over 15,000 unfilled jobs in these areas, said AllJobs. According to the Central Bureau of Statistics, the number of Israelis in the labor force aged 15 and up totaled 3.822 million, with 3.607 million working, and approximately 215,000 unemployed.

For skilled high-tech workers – and skilled workers in general – the picture was less rosy, although there were many bright spots. This year saw an overall increase of 6% in the number of high-tech jobs on offer, with positions for systems analysts growing by 20% this year over last. Internet and networking experts, along with mobile app developers, were also in demand, with 11% more jobs available in those areas. Programmers also saw a 5% increase in the number of available opportunities. Less popular were hardware developers and experts, who saw a drop of 7% in available openings in 2014. It takes an average of about four months of searching for workers in high-tech to land a job, the site said.

There was also a 10% drop in the number of jobs available in the biotechnology area, and a 7% falloff in offers for professionals in the precise sciences, including physics and chemistry. Purchasing directors and warehouse managers also had fewer openings to choose from in 2014 – with 17% fewer jobs in those areas – as did workers in the social sciences and environmental sciences, where there were 13% fewer jobs on offer.

Among job seekers, said AllJobs, the most popular positions were in administration and management; the site said that it received 2.39 million resumés from applicants for those jobs in 2014, compared to 2.18 million in 2013. Following right behind were applicants for general work and sales, with about 2 million resumes sent by Israelis seeking jobs in those areas.

Einat Baumfeld, content and research director of AllJobs, said that although there was high demand for workers, many of the jobs available were relatively low-paying. “Many of the jobs on offer are physically demanding, or entail shift work that requires working during off-hours, like nights and weekends, so not everyone can do them. However, many of the workers applying for these jobs don’t have experience and are non highly skilled, so they expect to be working in less than optimal conditions.”

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