We earn 8% more than last year, so why do we spend less? (Photo: ShutterStock)
The Central Bureau of Statistics today publishes the average wage report for March 2023, together with data on supermarket chain redemptions. There seems to be a contradiction between the reports, until you start reading between the lines. First, to the salary report:
• The average salary per employee post at current prices was NIS 13,683, an increase of 8.0% compared to March 2022 (NIS 12,672).
The average wage per employee post at fixed prices (adjusted for the monthly consumer price index) was NIS 11,879, an increase of 2.9% compared with March 2022 (NIS 11,549).
The number of employee posts was 3.987 million, up 1.8% compared to March 2022 (3.918 million) and up 0.7% compared to February 2023 (3.959 million).
Taking the data into account, we earned more not only in nominal terms, but also when the rate of increase in inflation is deducted from the average wage, meaning that the average employee in Israel has a higher income than he had exactly a year ago.
However, the April data tell a different story, according to flash estimates based on partial data available to the Central Bureau of Statistics: Average wages per employee post at current prices:
According to flash estimates for April 2023, the average wage per employee post at current prices for all employees was NIS 12,258, an increase of 4.8% compared to April 2022 (NIS 11,701). The average wage per employee post at current prices of Israeli workers was NIS 12,669, an increase of 5.1% compared to April 2022 (NIS 12,051).
Employee posts - According to flash estimates for April 2023, the number of employee posts of total employees was 4.201 million, an increase of 1.3% compared to April 2022 (4.146 million) and a decrease of 1.0% compared to March 2023 (4.245 million).
The number of employee posts of Israeli workers (out of the number of employee posts of total employees2) was 3.946 million, an increase of 0.9% compared to April 2022 (3.910 million) and a decrease of 1.0% compared to March 2023 (3.987 million).
In other words, with the end of the first quarter of the year, it appears that there has been a decline in average wage data. As stated, this must be qualified, since these are not absolute figures. It should also be remembered that this pattern of decline is similar to most previous years, when wages declined after Passover.
At the same time, and despite all the reservations, this is a worrying figure, partly because of what appears to be a decline in wages, and also because of the decline in the number of jobs
Where do we work? (Photo: CBS)
The Largest Employer: The Education System
Where are you employed more? As usual, the education system, which despite reports of a shortage of teachers, employs nearly 600,<> Israelis, more than in any other sector.
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Despite the crisis, high-tech is still the most rewarding (Photo: CBS)
High-tech earns the most
On the other hand, when examining where the education system is in terms of wages, it is in an unflattering place at the bottom of the table, with an average monthly salary of less than NIS 10,000, that is, more than NIS 3,500 lower than the average wage in the economy.
Who is at the top of the salary record? Well, despite the crisis in high-tech, workers in the technology industry are still the highest wage earners in the economy, with a salary of NIS 31,000 a month, or in other words: more than three times that of those employed in the education system.
Stop, an economic slowdown is ahead of you? Israelis save on supermarket shopping (Photo: ShutterStock)
Signs of slowing down? Decline in food chain revenue
If we combine the partial data on the average wage per employee post in April with revenue data from supermarket chains, a worrying picture emerges, which may be showing signs of a slowdown. Here are the revenue data of the supermarket chains:
•February-April 2023 (trend data annualized): A decline of 1.6% (in fixed prices) in total revenue of supermarket chains, after an increase of 2.0% (in fixed prices) in the three months of November 2022-January 2023.
February-April 2023 (trend data annualized): A decline of 0.9% (in fixed prices) in revenue of food chains, following a decline of 2.7% (in fixed prices) in November 2022 – January 2023.
The revenue data in the supermarket chains refer to chains specializing in food and chains specializing in other products: textiles and clothing, footwear, sustainable products, household items, and "miscellaneous" products - cosmetics, medicines, toys, books, office supplies and optics.
The revenue of chains defined as food chains also includes the revenue from the sale of cleaning products and other products.
In other words, after an increase in November-December 2022 and January 2023, came a decline in sales – and what could be an even more serious indication: a decline in revenue of the food chains, that is, the possibility that the savings forced on us reach the last place where it should manifest itself: the shopping cart in the supermarket.
As noted, when the data on the decline in revenue of supermarket chains (including food) are combined with what appears to be the first indication of a decline in average wages in April, there is certainly cause for concern regarding the process underway in the Israeli economy.
- Average wage in the economy
- Retail chains