Unemployment up 0.2% in September

The jobless rate was down 0.2 percentage point from the same month last year, the bureau said. The rate has been falling from a peak of 10.9% at the end of 2003.

October 26, 2006 07:22
2 minute read.
employ tel aviv 88 298

employ tel aviv 88 298. (photo credit: Archive)


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Exactly 217,413 job seekers were registered with the Israel Employment Service in September, reflecting a 0.2 percent rise in unemployment in seasonally-adjusted terms from the previous month. Nonetheless, trend data indicate an average monthly drop of 0.6% in the number of job seekers in 2006 so far, following an average drop of 0.2% per month in 2005, the bureau said Wednesday. In original data, there were 8.5% less job seekers last month in comparison with September 2005. While the number of university educated job seekers, not including income guarantee claimants, grew a seasonally adjusted 0.1% in September from August and the number of claimants fell 1%, the number of non-academic, non-claimants job seekers grew 2.6%. The number of newly-registered job seekers fell 0.3%. Geographically, the South and North led unemployment, with 11.4% and 10.2% of working-aged adults, respectively, while nationally 6.8% are unemployed according to employment service calculations. Separately, the Central Bureau of Statistics said Wednesday that according to trend data in August Israel's unemployment rate fell to 8.7% of the labor force, its lowest level since January, from a preliminary 8.8% in July. "It [the CBS figure] doesn't mean anything," said Excellence Nessuah chief economist Shlomo Maoz, who stressed that the apparent drop in unemployment in August was likely the result of the massive draft of reserve soldiers taking job seekers out of the labor force and, therefore, the Employment Service's report of rising unemployment in September is a more reliable figure, reflecting the resumption of job searches after the war. The labor force includes those who are working or unemployed adults actively seeking employment over the four weeks preceding the survey and ready to begin working if offered an appropriate job. The jobless rate was down 0.2 percentage point from the same month last year, the bureau said. The rate has been falling from a peak of 10.9% at the end of 2003. Unemployment declined in the two years through 2005 after the government cut taxes and reduced unemployment and other social security benefits to encourage people to find work. Israeli economic growth will probably slow to 4.5% this year from 5.2% in 2005, after the month-long war in Lebanon closed factories across the north of the country, the Central Bureau of Statistics said last month. In the first half of the year, before the outbreak of war in the North, gross domestic product expanded 5.9%. On Monday, the Jerusalem Post mistakenly reported that the number of job seekers had dropped 11.6% in September from the same month last year. That number actually corresponded to worker demand as requests for workers submitted by employers to the Employment Service fell 11.6% to 20,796 from 23,533 in September 2005. The service stressed that, due to the war, worker demand in the North, however, rose 23.3% against September 2005 and 30.1% against August 2006, and did not fall, as may have been expected. Worker demand also rose in the Jerusalem district, by 6.9% from the same month last year, but fell 0.3% in the South; 22.6% in the Center and Valleys; and 32.8% in the Dan region. Of the 10,600 requests for skilled workers submitted last month, 25% were for positions in sales and services; 11% were for clerical posts; 10% were for free trades and technical jobs; 5% required university degrees; 1% were for managerial positions; 1% were in agriculture; and the remaining 47% of the requests were for skilled labor other fields such as industry and construction. (Bloomberg contributed to this report)

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