Macro-level analysis highlights the main factors causing wage and employment gaps between Haredi women and non-Haredi women, as well as between Haredi men and non-Haredi men. Micro-level analysis points to several sub-groups within the Haredi society (communities, age groups, and residential settlements), where some face relatively worse conditions compared to others, while others are not negligible and justify focused efforts.
At the general level, it is found that employment and wage gaps between Haredi men and non-Haredi Jewish men remain substantial and stable over the years. In contrast, the gaps between Haredi women and non-Haredi Jewish women are gradually shrinking to the point of disappearance in the youngest generation.
At a more detailed level, significant gaps were identified among various Haredi subgroups. For instance, Lithuanian Haredi women, on average, have higher employment rates than women in other streams, but some of them face lower wage differentials compared to Hasidic and Sephardic women. Among both men and women, the young age group (25–34) is primarily responsible for the wage gap between Haredim and non-Haredi Jews. However, among women, the most significant contribution to the employment gap comes from the older age group (55–64). It was also found that a small number of settlements are mainly responsible for the employment gap between non-Haredi Jewish women and Haredi women.
This research reflects an applied approach that emphasizes micro-policy in employment planning in the Haredi society, distinguishing between different communities, age groups, geographical areas, and employment sectors. Focusing on areas and groups where the gaps are concentrated may lead to a significant improvement in the effectiveness of intervention programs. Thus, the research findings can enhance the decision-makers’ ability at the national and municipal levels to formulate targeted and effective policies to increase employment rates and wage levels in the Haredi sector.
Wage Gaps: The annual gap is significantly larger than the monthly and hourly gaps.
Wage gaps between employed Haredim and employed non-Haredi Jews are high across all measures (hourly, monthly, and annually), both among women and men. However, the annual wage gaps are the largest (50% and 117%, respectively). Among men, about two-thirds of the annual wage gap results from the hourly wage gap, meaning the main challenge is the low hourly wages of Haredi men. An additional quarter is due to differences in monthly working hours, and about a tenth of the annual gap results from variations in the number of working months in a year.
In contrast, among women, about half of the annual wage gap is attributed to differences in working hours, indicating that Haredi women work fewer hours. However, there is also a substantial contribution from hourly wage gaps: 40%. About a tenth of the annual gap is due to variations in the number of working months in a year.
Employment Gaps: Significant among men, but shrinking considerably among women.
Analysis of trends over time reveals that gaps in employment rates and wages between Haredi men and non-Haredi Jewish men remain significant and stable over the years. In contrast, the gaps between Haredi women and non-Haredi Jewish women are shrinking, to the point of disappearing, in the youngest generation.
Wage and employment gaps in subdivision by sub-groups.
- A few settlements are responsible for the majority of the gaps.
- Jerusalem and Beit Shemesh are responsible for about 73% of the employment gap between non-Haredi Jewish women and Haredi women, despite only about one-third of Haredi women in Israel residing in these cities.
- Among men, the cities of Jerusalem, Bnei Brak, Beit Shemesh, and Modi’in Illit together account for approximately 67% of employment gaps, with around 57% of Haredi men residing in these cities.
- Small (and peripheral) settlements in the Northern, Southern, and Judea & Samaria regions contribute to around 37% of the annual wage gap between non-Haredi Jewish women and Haredi women, even though only about 17% of employed Haredi women reside in these areas.
- Cities such as Beit Shemesh, Beitar Illit, Modi’in Illit, Ashdod, and Safed also make a noticeable contribution to the annual wage gap (44%) compared to the proportion of Haredi employed women residing in them (25%). Among men, it is found that small settlements also play a significant role in the wage gap relative to their share in the Haredi population.
- Jerusalem and Bnei Brak also have a substantial contribution to the wage gap, although it does not exceed the relative portion of the Haredi workforce employed in these cities.
Occupational Sectors: The largest contribution to the gap comes from the education sector.
- In the case of women, it is found that the education sector is responsible for about 40% of the wage gap between Haredi and non-Haredi women, according to its relatively high share in the employment of Haredi women.
- Health and welfare, commerce, and management services together contribute an additional 42% to the wage gap, even though only about 27% of employed Haredi women work in these sectors.
- In the case of men, it is found that the relative contribution of each sector to the wage gap is similar to their relative share among employed men in the sector out of the overall employed Haredi men.
Haredi Streams: The major contributors to the employment gap are Hasidic women and Lithuanian men.
- In the case of men, it is found that the contribution of Lithuanians to the employment gap is the highest compared to other streams, and also in relation to their proportion among all Haredi men of working age. Among women, it is found that the contribution of Hasidic women to the employment gap between Haredi and non-Haredi women is the highest, nearly double their weight in the Haredi society.
- The contribution of Hasidic women to the monthly wage gap is also much greater than their weight in the working female population.
Age Groups: The challenging groups – older women and younger men.
Young Haredi men (25–34) account for half of the employment gap between Haredim and non-Haredi Jews.
- Among older Haredi women (55–64), they contribute to about 40% of the gap – a much higher proportion than their overall share in the working-age Haredi female population.
- Both among Haredi men and Haredi women, the contribution of the young (aged 25–34) to the wage gap is higher than their relative share among all employed Haredim: 58% and 63%, respectively.
- Regarding the contribution of each age group to the increase in Haredi employment between 2005 and 2019 – in contrast to previous analyses based on manpower surveys, the young age group (25–34) was the main driving force behind the rise in employment rates.
- Among men, this group accounted for half of the overall increase during the measured period (9 percentage points out of 18), and among women, it contributed to 42% of the total increase (13 percentage points out of 32). Additionally, the highest employment rates among Haredi women were recorded in the 20–24 age group, reaching 87% in 2019. If this group were included in the definition of the primary working age, it would increase the measured employment rate for Haredi women by 2 percentage points.