Sephardim Still Lag Behind Ashkenazim in Earnings

Shas chairman Aryeh Deri (R) and Shas MK Eli Yishai (L). (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
Shas chairman Aryeh Deri (R) and Shas MK Eli Yishai (L). (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Over six decades after the founding of the state of Israel, significant income gaps between Ashkenazim and Sephardim persist, The Jerusalem Post reported on Wednesday.

A study conducted by the Adva Center showed that Ashkenazim earned 42% more than the average urban worker, while Sephardim earned only 9% more than the average, an improvement over recent years. Arabs, by contrast, earned 34% below the average, a continuing decrease from previous years.

“The gap is explained by different education levels and occupations, but also by discrimination and different opportunities and starting points of each ethnic group in the Israeli labor force,” said Ariane Ophir, a Research Assistant at the Adva Center.

Shas MK Eli Yishai attributed the gaps to inadequate investment in education in the periphery, and asserted that the state had to change priorities and not just rhetoric.

Shas Chairman Aryeh Deri called on Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyah and Finance Minsiter Yair Lapid to rescind budget cuts that hurt low-income groups.

“The right to welfare for immigrants from Morocco, Iraq and Yemen is not less than citizens of any other origin,” he said.

The report highlighted other inequalities, as well: In 2012, CEOs made NIS 376,000 a month, 42 times the average national salary of NIS 9,018, and 82 times the minimum wage of NIS 4,300.

Relatively speaking, however, it’s not so bad. In the United States, CEOs earned 354 times the average in 2012. The last time American CEOs earned “just” 42 times the average was in 1980.

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