Friday, December 8, 2017

Where's the High-Tech?

Yair Assaf-Shapira

In 1995, there were 9,800 people employed in the high-tech sector in Jerusalem, according to the publication "The Development of the High-Tech Sector in Israel, 1995-2014" published recently by the Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS). In the same year, in the entire country there were 115,900 people working in the sector, so that Jerusalem high-tech employees comprised 8.4% of the total. Is that many or few? The number of workers in all sectors in Jerusalem, as compared to all workers in Israel, was higher (10%), so it may be said that Jerusalem is more prominent in other fields of employment.

Nineteen years later, in 2014, the number of those working in the high-tech sector in the city rose significantly, and reached 15,200 employees. Does Jerusalem stand out more in the high tech sector? The percentage of those who work in high-tech who are employed in Jerusalem decreased (from 8.4% to 5.3%), but the percentage of those employed in Jerusalem as compared to in the entire country (in all sectors) also decreased (from 10% to 8.8%). All in all, the prominence of high-tech, defined as the ratio between the two percentages, decreased (from 0.8-0.6).

Which cities are most prominent in the high-tech sector? The percentage employed in high-tech in Tel Aviv as compared to the entire country is 11.6%, while those employed in all sectors in Tel Aviv, from all those employed in Israel, is similar, at 11.4%. The ratio is 1.02, meaning that Tel Aviv stands out in the high-tech sector in just about the same way as it stands out in other sectors. The cities in which the high-tech sector is especially prominent are Rehovot (with a 2.3 ratio) and Petach Tikva (1.9). This means that, when considering employees, the weight of these cities in the high-tech sector is approximately twice their average weight  (it should be noted that smaller cities weren't part of the survey, and therefore Herzliya and Ra'anana were not taken into account).

In Rehovot and Petah Tikva, the high-tech sector was also prominent in 1995, but are there any cities that managed to highlight the sector over the past nineteen years? It appears that there are. Netanya managed to increase the prominence of the high-tech sector from 0.7 to 1.4, and Haifa increased it from 0.9 to 1.3. The reverse trend also exists, in the case of Ramat Gan for example, where in 1995 the prominence of the high-tech sector was high (1.3) and in 2014 it went down to 0.7.

In the employment sector, and in high-tech in particular, changes are constantly occurring. Even since 2014, which is the cutoff for the data in the recent CBS publication, things have continued to change. In Jerusalem, the large Israeli technology company Mobileye was acquired by Intel a few months ago, and the new complex that was subsequently approved is expected to employ thousands of people. In addition, it was announced that Rafael, a weapons development company, will establish a development center in Jerusalem which is expected to employ several hundred workers. It is possible that these new centers will change the current trend. A detailed examination reveals that following a continuous decline between 1995 and 2009, from 2010 the decline was halted, and a rise in the prominence of the high-tech sector in the city began.


Translation: Gilah Kahn