Unemployment drops to 5.3% a historic low (sort of)

Current rate less than half of what it was 10 years ago.

March 26, 2015 19:11
1 minute read.

Shekel money bills. (photo credit: REUTERS)

Israel’s February unemployment rate fell to 5.3 percent, the lowest level since the Central Bureau of Statistics updated its methodology for calculating the unemployment rate.

The change, however, was just in 2012, making comparisons with earlier data difficult. In October 2011, the rate dropped to 5%, at that point the lowest rate on the books.

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With the change in methodology in January 2012, however, that figure leaped to 6.8%. The rate this January was 5.6%.

The current unemployment rate, released by the Central Bureau of Statistics on Thursday, was less than half what it was a decade ago.

The labor force dropped 0.1 percentage point to 64% for those aged 15 and up. It fell the same amount for those aged 25-64 to 79.6%. The unemployment rate for the latter group was stable at 4.8%.

Earlier this week, the Bank of Israel said the labor market “continues to present a positive picture,” noting that in January the employment rate was up, real wages increased, more people were working full time, and health receipts between December and February had grown 5.1% compared with the same period a year earlier.

The bank held the interest rate at its record low of 0.1% to battle low inflation, the strength of the shekel and the mixed state of the real economy.

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