Populations Not Fully Participating in the Labor Market: Extent, Characteristics and Programs to Promote their Employment and Occupational Mobility

This report was prepared in the framework of the strategic planning for the Tevet Employment Initiative, a partnership between the Government of Israel and JDC-Israel. Tevet’s goal is to develop programs and projects to promote the integration of weak populations into employment and to create new possibilities for mobility in the labor market for them. The report opens with a presentation of a profile of the populations in Israel with low participation rates in the labor force, which constitute the Initiative’s target population: people employed in part-time positions, those who have been seeking work for six months or more, and those who do not participate in the labor force at all.

The report identifies the factors linked to the likelihood of not being in the labor force or not being employed full time. It also analyzes the characteristics of specific subgroups and the barriers to of their employment. The analyses are based on a special analysis of data from surveys conducted by the Central Bureau of Statistics (Labor Force Survey, 2003; Income Survey, 2003; and Social Survey, 2002) and surveys of special populations conducted by Myers-JDC-Brookdale Institute.

People with disabilities constitute a substantial group within the population that is outside the labor force. In recent years their integration into employment has been on the public agenda in Israel. A separate chapter is devoted to them. The chapter presents data on the disabled population in Israel, a range of models developed for employing people with disabilities, and a discussion of the problems in this area and recommended ways of addressing them.

In recent decades, a range of programs have been developed in Europe and North America to encourage the employment of weak populations. The report focuses on programs that directly help special populations to integrate into work and analyzes common components of these programs. The report also surveys findings from evaluation studies that examined the contribution of various components in these programs to integration into employment and to wage mobility.

Special programs to promote the employment of weak populations have been developed in Israel, too. They follow similar guiding principles to those developed abroad, with adjustments to the particular characteristics of the relevant populations in Israel. The report reviews several Israeli models and demonstrates each through several programs. On the basis of the review, several general characteristics of the Israeli programs are presented and the implications for the Initiative are discussed.

The last part of the report addresses the complex issues of evaluating the success of the Initiative’s activities on two levels – the program level and the Initiative level – and in two areas – outcomes (final and intermediate outcomes) and implementation. The report also includes examples of measurable success parameters.

The report has been presented to the Initiative’s Strategic Planning Committee and serves as an important source of information for the Initiative in its regular work. This work is co-funded by the Government of Israel, Clalit Health Services, Maccabi Healthcare Services, Leumit Health Fund, and Meuhedet Health Services.