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Israel Existential Crisis Creates Haredi Breadwomen as Men Study
Ultra-orthodox, or haredi, women are joining the Israeli labor force in increasing numbers and many are choosing to work in technology, attracted in part by the industry’s willingness to accommodate their religious lifestyle.
Ultra-orthodox, or haredi, women are joining the Israeli labor force in increasing numbers and many are choosing to work in technology, attracted in part by the industry’s willingness to accommodate their religious lifestyle. While that has helped keep jobs that might otherwise have gone offshore, their husbands’ joblessness is a drag on economic growth, according to the Bank of Israel and the International Monetary Fund.
“A continued increase in the share of the population which does not participate in the workforce cannot continue forever, and so will have to stop,” Bank of Israel Governor Stanley Fischer said earlier this year. The imbalance has to be corrected for the health of the economy, he added. The central bank predicts growth will slow to 3.1 percent this year from 4.8 percent in 2010 and 2011.
While the ultra-Orthodox make up about 8 percent to 10 percent of the population, they will represent 17 percent of working-age Israelis in 20 years because of their high birth rate, according to the bank. By the late 2050s they will account for a quarter of the population, a March 9 IMF report found.