The results for the census conducted in 2008 have recently been released, offering us deeper insights into our society and workforce. In 2008, Jerusalem had 240,000 participants in the workforce. This number includes both working persons and unemployed persons seeking employment, of persons aged 15 or older. This figure translated into a workforce participation rate of 50%, which was lower than the national average (60%), the average in Tel Aviv (70%), and the average in Haifa (60%). Jerusalem’s low workforce participation rate can be pinned to low workforce participation rates among the Jewish Ultra-Orthodox and Arab segments of the population. In Tel Aviv, the number of workforce participants was 232,000 – only slightly lower than their number in Jerusalem, despite the fact that Tel Aviv’s population is almost half the size of Jerusalem’s population.
Generally speaking, the workforce participation rate is higher for men than for women; in Jerusalem, it was 58% for the male population (compared to the national average of 65%) and 42% for the female population (compared to a national average of 53%).
Workforce participation rates vary greatly among Jerusalem’s neighborhoods. Har Homa boasted the highest rate (79%). Relatively high rates of participation in the workforce were also found in Ramat Sharet and Ramat Denya (71%), City Center and Nahlaaot (69%), Gonnenim-Katamon (67%) and East Talpiyot (66%). Participation rates that were closer to the national average were found in Kiryat Yovel (63%), Kiryat Menachem and ‘Ir Ganim (62%), Gilo (61%), and Baqaa (58%). At the opposite end, the lowest workforce participation rates were found in the Me’ah Shearim area, and Beit Israel and Bukharim neighborhoods (20%). Other neighborhoods with workforce participation rates below the city average were Sanhedria and Shikun Chabad (29%), Makor Baruch, Mahne Yehuda, Zichron Moshe (33%), Ramat Shlomo (44%), Neve Yaakov (45%), Bayit va-Gan (47%), and Har Nof (48%).