The rate of employees in Israel’s hi-tech industry rose to 8.7 percent by the end of 2018, up from 8.3 percent in the previous year, the Israeli Innovation Authority (IIA) reported on Wednesday.
This increase brings the number of hi-tech positions excluding communications sector to over 307,000 by mid 2019.
According to the data based on Israel’s Central Bureau of Statistics annual report, Israel experienced a steep rise in employment of close to 19,000 salaried employees during 2018 in the hi-tech sector, despite a decline of 3,000 employees in the pharmaceutical sector following the crisis at the pharmaceutical firm Teva.
The software sector contributes to a significant portion of this increase with some 14,000 employees joining this field at startup companies, larger companies, as well as research and development centers.
According to the IIA, employment in the hi-tech sector is characterized by high productivity and wages, making it critical for Israel to increase the percentage of those employed in this sector.
The growth in Israeli hi-tech employment reflects the sector’s growing demand for employees in recent years and has been facilitated by a variety of government initiatives to increase the number of highly skilled workers in the field.
Aharon Aharon, CEO of the IIA, said that “for the first time after a decade, we’ve seen a real positive trend in this figure. This has been an ambitious and challenging task.”
“Increasing the number of employees in the hi-tech market is an important accomplishment, considering this industry’s contribution to Israel’s economy and exports,” Israeli Minister of Economy and Industry Eli Cohen said.