Working and Poor
Author: Haya Stier
October 02, 2011
This chapter reviews poverty rate trends among Israel’s working population over the past 30 years, with the aim of identifying the social characteristics of working families living in poverty, and the factors leading to a situation in which employment fails to prevent poverty.
The poverty rate among Israel’s working population is high and trending upward; working families currently account for most of Israel’s poor. Poverty among the employed stems from a combination of economic factors, in particular: low wage jobs and a lack of opportunities for low-skilled workers; demographic/family characteristics such as large families and a low percentage of two earner families; and, political factors, particularly the level of support provided to large families and to workers with employment difficulties. These factors lead to exceptionally high poverty rates among the working Arab population, which is characterized by barriers to employment, low levels of female participation in the labor market, and large families.
This appears as a chapter in the Center’s annual publication State of the Nation Report – Society, Economy and Policy 2010.