Last March, the average wage of Israeli employees rose to NIS 11,140 gross at current prices, a rise of 3% compared to March 2018, according to data published on Thursday by the Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS).
The data reflect the current wage, ie, that the workers receive into the bank account, a figure largely influenced by the effects of holidays and volatility, with March usually characterized by wage increases, against bonuses given in certain sectors. Thus, compared to February, this is a rise of 4.4%, when the average wage was NIS 10,668, and about 8.5% compared to January, when it was NIS 10,268.
At constant prices - a figure obtained after deducting the consumer price index in a way that is not affected by price increases or decreases in the economy in order to reflect the purchasing power of employees - the average wage was NIS 10,527, an increase of only 1.6% compared to the corresponding period last year.
The number of employee posts in the economy rose by 0.7% compared with March 2018, to 3.708 million jobs. 66% of them (2.448 million) were in economic industries in which the average wage per employee post was lower than the average wage in the entire economy, while 34% (1.259 million) was higher.
Meanwhile, the information and communications industry, which includes high-tech companies, continued to lead the average wage in the economy by a considerable margin compared to the other employment sectors, with NIS 24,053 per employee post last March. In second place was the financial services sector (banks) and insurance services with NIS 21,378, and thirdly, electricity and water supply, sewage and waste treatment and treatment, with NIS 16,300 a month.
At the bottom of the list was the hotel services and restaurants sector, with NIS 5,323 a month. However, it should be taken into account that the data for each industry are affected by all the subjects included in it. Thus, in the hospitality and food services industry, there was a significant gap between the wages of hotel employees, who constitute about 16% of the workers in the industry (NIS 8,443), and that of the restaurant and cafe workers, who constitute 84% of the industry and NIS 4,717 a month.
In the last three months - January-March 2019, trend data (which include processing of the data in order to remove the effects of seasonality, holidays and other influences) also indicate increases. At the same time, current prices rose at an annual rate of 4.1%, following an increase of 4.5% in annual terms in October-December 2018.
At constant prices, reflecting the purchasing power of such workers, an annualized increase of 2.6% was recorded in the last three months, following an annual increase of 3.1% in the previous three months.
The most significant increase in the average wage was recorded during the period in the professional, scientific and technical services industry, an increase of 7% in annual prices, following an increase of 4.1% in October-December 2018. In the second place, , Third in local administration, public security and social security, with a rise of 4%, followed by workers in the information and communications industry, with an increase of 2.7%.
On the other hand, in the agriculture, forestry and fishing industries, the average annual wage fell by 3.7%, compared with an annualized 4.4% in October-December 2018. Real estate activities decreased by 3.3%, and financial services and insurance services declined by 1.1%.
In the financial services and insurance services sector, there were large gaps between the salaries of employees of the banks, which constituted 46% of the industry and earned NIS 25,500 a month, and employees of the insurance companies and pension funds, which account for 54% of the industry and earn NIS 17,900 a month.