The number of job seekers registered with Employment Service bureaus around the
country rose again in July as worker layoffs hit a three-year high of
More than 53 percent of individuals who lost their jobs last
month were female.
Tel Aviv recorded the greatest number of dismissals
with 1,072, while Jerusalem came in second with 803. Not since July 2009, when
16,512 people lost their jobs, has the Employment Service recorded so many
dismissals in one month.
There were 211,617 job seekers in the market at
the end of July, up 7% from June and a 5% increase from the corresponding month
last year. A total of 24,573 individuals became listed as job seekers in July,
but the impact of this was tempered somewhat by the hiring of thousands of new
The chances of finding a new job also diminished in July, as the
amount of “positions available” listed with the Employment Service dropped 9.2%
The number of jobs advertised rose steadily from 2004- 2011
after decreasing from 2001-2003. However, the monthly average reached only
22,661 in the January- July period this year, a 12.6% decrease compared with the
corresponding period in 2011.
These latest figures seem to back up data
published by the Central Bureau of Statistics that show the unemployment rate
reached 7.2% in July, also a three-year high.
In March, the statistics
bureau changed its criteria about what constitutes unemployment to match the
criteria of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, which
Israel joined in 2010. That decision caused an immediate adjustment in the
unemployment rate from 5.6% to 6.5%.
Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz has
reiterated several times over the past few months that achieving low
unemployment will remain one of the government’s two main priorities, along with
maintaining strong economic growth.
Labor chairwoman Shelly Yachimovich
on Tuesday accused the government of failing to act, saying the wave of layoffs
was “not an uncontrollable tsunami.” Just as the government is obligated to
prepare for security threats, she said, it must also prepare for “employment
Writing on her Facebook wall, Yachimovich proposed a number of
steps to help reduce employment: ending the awarding of tenders for national
infrastructure projects to foreign companies, enacting an assistance fund for
struggling factories that was approved by the government in 2009 and ensuring
Israeli manufacturers receive preference in tenders for the uniforms of IDF and
“Chinese employment should not be our concern,” she
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