Jerusalem – Israel’s central bank chief wants more Arabs and ultra-Orthodox Jews in the work force to spur economic growth.
Bank of Israel Governor Stanley Fischer says the government must help to make that happen. In his annual report on Wednesday, Fischer called for better schooling to help these two fast-growing sectors enter the labor market.
Discrimination and substandard education have long limited economic opportunities for Israel’s Arabs. Many ultra-Orthodox Jewish men opt for a life of religious study, don’t work and live on state handouts. Together, the two sectors make up about 30 percent of Israel’s population.
The bank said Israel’s economy grew 4.7 percent in 2011, though growth slowed in the second part of the year due to Europe’s debt crisis.