Israel’s public sector is a large and high-quality employer:

According to the Government Companies Authority report (2020) the Israeli employment market as a whole enjoyed full employment in 2019 – following a decade and a half during which the employment rate rose – and a historic low in the rate of unemployment. Until 2019 a trend of rising salaries was recorded in both the public and business sectors. However, the business sector in Israel demonstrated difficulty regarding the creation of new jobs, unlike the public sector which was the main source of new jobs in 2019.

Data from the Labour Force Survey of the Israel Central Bureau of Statistics reveal that in 2019, there were 116,500 public sector employees in Jerusalem (34% of all employees in Jerusalem), of whom 35,900 were employed in “Public Administration and Defence, Compulsory Social Security.”  These included 9,500 employees in the General Public Administration Activities, 11,300 positions in the policing and security sectors, 6,500 positions in supervision of government services, and more. Another 4,600 employees worked in the local government sector.

Among all public sector workers in Jerusalem, 88,600 lived in the Jerusalem district (76% of employees in the public sector) and an additional 14,500 lived in Judea and Samaria. A vast majority of the employees, 85%, were Jews, while only 15% were Arabs. Divided according to gender, 63% of the employees in the public sector were women, and 37% were men. 

According to data from the Civil Service Commission (administrative data from April 2021; please note the data from the Central Bureau of Statistics are accurate as of 2019), 23.5% of the civil service positions are located in Jerusalem, but only 11.8% of the civil service employees lived in the city. This is based on data about 82,131 positions at 100 bodies included in the report. The Civil Service Commission reports that the vast majority of these employees – between 14,000 and 15,000 people – work in the National Quarter (Kiryat Ha-Le’om).

9,734 of the Civil Service employees live in Jerusalem (11.8% of the employees), of whom 8,926 both live and work in Jerusalem (10.8%), while a further 808 residents of Jerusalem who work in the Civil Service positions outside the capital.

Senior civil servants (positions ranked at level 42 and higher according to the ranking of social science and humanities academics) constitute 3% of those employed in the Civil Service (1,811 positions). More than half the senior positions are situated in Jerusalem (934 positions or 51.6%). At the same time, only 291 of all the senior staff reside in Jerusalem – 16.1% of all senior civil servants, and about 31% of the senior civil servants who work in Jerusalem.

Among all the senior employees in the civil service, 1,130 (or 68.3%), are employed and/or reside in the districts of Jerusalem, Tel Aviv or in the central district. Less than a third (331 or 29%) lives and works in the Jerusalem district.  One-third (or 374 people) works in the Jerusalem district while residing in Tel Aviv and the central districts. 

The reverse situation, in which the senior civil servants live in the Jerusalem district but work in the Tel Aviv district, obtains for 3.5% (or 40) of the senior civil servants.


The data was collected as part of the “Gov. City Project,” for the publication of “Indicators for Gov.City” which will be published in the coming months.