Finance Ministry says jobless rate to remain steady

In November, Bank of Israel Governor Karnit Flug predicted that the jobless rate would soon rise.

December 10, 2013 22:37
1 minute read.
Bank of Israel Governor Karnit Flug

Karnit Flug 370. (photo credit: REUTERS)


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Unemployment in 2014 will remain at 6.2 percent, the same as the average rate in 2013, the Finance Ministry told the Knesset Finance Committee on Tuesday.

Although 6.2% is a slight rise from the current 5.9% unemployment rate, it remains a historically low level.

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In November, Bank of Israel Governor Karnit Flug predicted that the jobless rate would soon rise, a result of moderate global growth and struggling exports. The unemployment rate at the time was 6.1%.

“An assessment of the composition of the labor market shows that growth in the number of employed persons is concentrated in the public services, while employment in the business sector has been at a standstill for a long time,” Flug said.

The Finance Ministry, on the other hand, predicted that world growth was picking up and that exports would hold their own in an improving global trade environment.

The general population may not feel as rosy as the ministry projections. The Central Bureau of Statistics on Tuesday reported that within the consumer confidence index, the portion dealing with expected unemployment was “the most significant” in the survey.

“The change in the balance shows a deterioration in unemployment expectations, and its level fell from minus-36% in October to minus-50% in November,” the statistics bureau said. The index, from a scale of minus- 100% to 100%, indicates expected deterioration or improvement in certain areas of economic activity, with zero indicating no change.

The overall consumer confidence index for November stood at minus-29%, down from minus-24% in October.

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