May 1st, which marks both International Workers’ Day and Jerusalem Day, presents a good opportunity to take a look at the workforce in Jerusalem. According to new Statistical Yearbook of Jerusalem, to be published on Jerusalem Day, there were 293,200 workers employed in the city in 2013. This number is higher than the number of workers in Haifa (167,000), and lower than the number in Tel Aviv (387,800).
The majority of those who work in Jerusalem (224,700) also reside in the city. However, about a quarter of them (23%, or 68,600 workers) live outside of Jerusalem and commute to the city for work. Of these, 30,600 live in Judea and Samaria; 17,500 in the Jerusalem District (adjacent to the city from the west, including Mevaseret Zion, Beit Shemesh, Abu Ghosh, Kiriat Yearim and the Mateh Yehuda regional council); 16,600 in Tel Aviv and Israel’s center; and approximately 3,800 reside in the north, the south and in Haifa. While it is clear that more people commute from areas closer to the city, a significant number of workers also come from the center to work in Jerusalem. In comparison, the number of Jerusalemites who work in Tel Aviv is lower: 10,300 people.
Of the workers employed in Jerusalem, 154,400 are men and 138,800 are women. In general, men’s commutes to work tend to be longer than those of women, and the greater the distance, the less likely women are to travel it. Indeed, most of the workers coming from outside the city to work in Jerusalem are men. From Tel Aviv and the center, for example, 9,700 men travel to work in Jerusalem as compared to 7,000 women. The areas closer to the city present a different picture: from Judea and Samaria, a similar number of women (15,400) and men (15,200) commute to Jerusalem, and from the Jerusalem District, more women (9,500) commute to Jerusalem than men (8,000).
This trend in terms of distance and gender also holds true regarding the commute in the opposite direction, i.e. for those who live in Jerusalem and work outside of the city. This direction is traveled by 24,300 men, and only by 9,700 women, but, like we see above, closer numbers of male (4,800) and female (3,100) workers commute to the areas closer to Jerusalem (Jerusalem District and Judea and Samaria), while almost four times more men (8,100) than women (2,200) travel to work in the center and Tel Aviv.
The new train line connecting Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, currently under construction, may change the picture by increasing the number of workers traveling between the cities in both directions.