Minimum wage earners lose NIS 2,750 per month – study

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Israelis earning minimum wage lose an average of $ 857 (NIS 2,750) per month after paying their living expenses, the second highest monthly deficit in the world, according to a study compiled by money.co.uk.
Israel’s minimum wage is 5,300 NIS per month, or about 29 NIS per hour, a sum last updated in December 2017. The report calculated the monthly minimum wage in each country based on the data OECD adjusted, minus the average cost of living for a person and average rental prices.

Minimum wage workers in the United States lose the most each month, averaging $ 876 per month. There was a significant gap between the income figures for the United States and Israel compared to the third country on the list, Slovakia, which has a monthly deficit of $ 580 for minimum wage workers. Mexico ($ 563) and Luxembourg ($ 505) round out the top five.

The countries that leave the highest levels of disposable income to minimum wage workers are France ($ 466), Turkey ($ 424) and Poland ($ 240).

Importantly, the minimum wage is lower than the cost of living in most countries, with workers in 59% of countries losing money every month. Globally, the minimum wage worker loses $ 128 per month after rent and living expenses, according to the report.

Israel has not updated its minimum wage for almost four years, although the current rate is about 38% higher than a decade ago, when it was 3,850 shekels a month. The Histadrut union has been pushing to increase the rate to NIS 6,000 per month, but there is a general feeling that the minimum wage cannot be increased during the coronavirus pandemic, due to the economic uncertainty still plaguing them. local businesses.

Higher wages mean higher costs for businesses, many of which still grapple with lost income from overseas tourism and looming quarantine fears.

That being said, there is pressure on shops and restaurants employing low-skilled workers to increase their benefits, as many have struggled to rehire workers this summer, even after the government’s unemployment benefits ended in July.

The Minister of Labor, Social Affairs and Social Services, MK Meir Cohen. (credit: GILI YAARI / FLASH90)

In the United States, an initiative by President Joe Biden to more than double the national minimum wage to $ 15 an hour failed in Congress, but about 40% of U.S. states and many large employers like Walmart, Target, and Best Buy have adopted the $ 15 standard. . Last week, e-commerce giant Amazon raised its average starting salary in the United States to more than $ 18 an hour before it plans to hire an additional 125,000 workers.

Meanwhile, the cost of living in Israel has only increased 7.5% over the past 10 years, the fourth smallest price increase in the world, according to the report.

The cost of living in Greece only increased by 0.68% during the decade 2010-2020, while Japan and Ireland saw their prices increase by 5.5% and 6.2% respectively. .

Social protests in 2011, in which hundreds of thousands of Israelis took to the streets to protest the continuing rise in the cost of living, scared Israeli food manufacturers to raise prices in the future. , according to a BDO Israel report released in July. Since 2011, food prices in Israel have only increased by 1.8%, compared to an average of 16% in OECD countries, according to this report.


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