Unemployment rate at two-year high, 7.6%

228,000 are out of work; 35,000 workers lost their jobs in January-March 2009.

May 28, 2009 02:00
2 minute read.
Unemployment rate at two-year high, 7.6%

unemployment 248 88. (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)


Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later Don't show it again

Some 35,000 workers lost their jobs in the first three months of the year, boosting the unemployment rate of the civilian labor force to 7.6 percent, the highest in almost two years, the Central Bureau of Statistics reported Thursday. The seasonally adjusted jobless rate rose from a revised 6.5% in the fourth quarter of 2008 and from 6.1% in the year-earlier period, the bureau said. "This is not good news for the Israeli economy," Ron Eichel, an economist at Meitav Investment House, said Thursday. "This shows that the Bank of Israel will have to continue its expansionary monetary policy for a long time." "Over the past six months, the rate of unemployment in the local economy grew at a fast pace of 1.6%," he said. "The unemployment rate is expected to continue to increase at a fast pace in the coming months as a result of a slowing economy. We expect the rate of unemployment to rise to 8.5% in 2010." Speaking at a conference in Tel Aviv on Wednesday, Bank of Israel Governor Stanley Fischer said the economy was in the middle of a recession. The government was taking steps to moderate the recession, he said, but unemployment is expected to rise. "We are suffering from a great global economic crisis, and we expect the unemployment rate to rise close to 9%," Fischer said. Israel is "dealing better than the world with the economic crisis," Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said Thursday in the Knesset. In the February-April period, exports of goods, not including diamonds, fell 8%, following a decline of 13.4% in the previous three months, while imports of raw materials dropped 11.6%, the bureau reported Thursday. In the February-March period of this year, manufacturing production declined 4.8% compared with 12.8% in the previous three months, and trade and services revenues fell 2.1%, the bureau said. In the first quarter of this year, the labor force totaled 3.01 million, including 228,000 unemployed, the bureau reported. The percentage of unemployed aged 26-64 rose to 6.8% in the first quarter, up from 5.7% in the previous quarter. The Central Bureau of Statistics defines an unemployed person as someone who did not work at all during the surveyed week, actively searched for work during the preceding four weeks and could have begun to work during the determining week had a job been offered. The rise in the unemployment rate was higher among women than among men during the first quarter, Eichel said. The bureau's figures indicated that the unemployment rate among women aged 26-64 rose to 7% in the first quarter, up from 5.9% in the preceding quarter. The unemployment rate for men aged 25-64 rose to 6.5%, up from 5.5%. The unemployment rate rose across all parts of the country in the first quarter. Unemployment was highest in the South, with a rate of 9.2%; followed by the North, at 8.9%; Jerusalem, at 8.4%; the Haifa area, at 7.1%; the central plain, at 6.7%; and the Tel Aviv area, at 6.1%. The education sector had the biggest drop in number of people employed, falling 7,800 to 347,000. The food and hospitality sector was down 7,300 to 124,000. The biggest rise in the number of employed was found in the health-services and welfare sector, which added 10,400 jobs to 291,000. Bloomberg contributed to this report.

Related Content

The Teva Pharmaceutical Industries
April 30, 2015
Teva doubles down on Mylan, despite rejection