Employment opportunities in manufacturing sector still lag

Despite all-time low in unemployment, manufacturing jobs still not returned to pre=2008 mass layoffs.

By NADAV SHEMER
July 14, 2011 02:04
A technician makes armored windows in a factory at

factory 311. (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski )

 
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Although the jobless rate reached an all-time low of 5.8 percent in April, employment in the manufacturing sector has still not returned to the levels that existed prior to the mass layoffs of 2008, according to data released Wednesday by the Manufacturers Association of Israel.

The total number of employees in the sector in April was still 2.3% lower than in the first quarter of 2008, the association reported, which it said was responsible for a decline in productivity.

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Only an extra 325 people – or 0.1% – were employed in the sector in March and April, after a 0.4% rise in January and February and a 0.5% rise in the final quarter of last year, the data showed. Of more concern, productivity dropped 0.2% in March and April, compared with an increase of 2.4% in January and February.

Sector employment rose 3.9% since the end of 2009, thanks to a net growth of 13,360 new workers, but it still left the sector short of the employment figures it boasted before the cuts, the association said.

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