Unemployment numbers fall 0.7% in April

Steinitz: "Cooperation with Histadrut, Israel Manufacturers Association key to successful dealing with global crisis."

June 2, 2010 09:06
2 minute read.
Demand for workers has been rising.

Job seekers 311. (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski/The Jerusalem Post)


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The number of unemployed Israelis dropped by 0.7 percent in April, to 193,800, from 195,100 in the previous month, the lowest level since January 2009, as the number of jobseekers continued to fall, the National Employment Service reported on Tuesday.

“One of the key actions which helped us to cope with the global crisis and prevent a surge in unemployment to over 10%, as [has happened] in other countries, was the successful cooperation with the Histadrut Labor Federation and the Israel Manufacturers Association through the roundtable [process]. The collaboration secured industrial quiet and enabled us to deal with the crisis without any strike actions,” Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz said at the annual conference of the ministry’s wage division in Jerusalem. “The storm, though, has not yet passed and we must continue to join hands with the Histadrut Labor Federation and industry to deal with aftershocks. When we see what happens to labor relations in Greece, Spain or Italy, we need to make sure that they are different with us and maintain them the way they are.”

The number of jobseekers dropped by 1.9% in April in seasonally adjusted terms, to 207,000, compared with 211,000 in March. There was a decline of 2.1% in the number of jobseekers with university degrees and a drop of 2.8% in the number of jobseekers without degree.

Since April 2009, the labor market has been undergoing a steady recovery. In the months April 2009 to March 2010, the number of new jobseekers dropped by a monthly average of 2.5% after rising by a monthly average of 3.4% in the period of February 2008 to March 2009.

In April 2010, 10,618 workers lost their jobs, of whom 5,128 were men and 5,490 were women, compared with a total of 12,556 layoffs in the preceding month.

As in recent months, most of the newly unemployed, 3,991 people, were aged 25-34, while 1,141 workers aged 55 and over lost their jobs, and 100 employees aged 65 and over were put out of work.

The National Employment Service pointed out that the demand for workers was rising, with 24,500 positions listed with it in April, compared with 16,500 during the same month last year.

The unemployment rate continued to fall in the first quarter of the year, to 7.2% of the civilian labor force, from 7.3% in the previous quarter, following a gradual recovery in economic growth for a third consecutive quarter, the Central Bureau of Statistics reported last week.

At the same time, though, the CBS figures noted a change in trend, as the number of full-time employees declined by 1.6%, or 30,000 people, in the first quarter compared with the same quarter last year, while the number of part-time workers  increased by 8.1%, or 61,000 people, during the same period.

Furthermore, the number of involuntary part-time workers dropped by 1.9%, to 113,000 employees, amounting to 4% of the civilian labor force, in the months January to March this year compared with the same months in 2009.

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