PM: Gov't policy led to increase in housing construction

Central Bureau of Statistics reports 15% increase in construction starts in first half of 2011, unemployment rate at all time low of 5.5%.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu 311 (photo credit: Moshe Milner/GPO)
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu 311
(photo credit: Moshe Milner/GPO)
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Wednesday commented on data issued by the Central Bureau of Statistics reporting an increase in residential construction starts, saying the trend "reflects my government's accelerated and successful activity since the beginning of its term."
Some 75,000 apartments were under construction in the second quarter of 2011, the largest number since 2001, the Central Bureau of Statistics reported on Wednesday. According to the CBS data, there has been a 15% increase in construction starts in the first half of 2011 as compared to the same period last year.   The apartments under construction will reach the market over the next few years, and help push down prices, according to the Ministry of Housing and Construction.
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"The steps that have already been taken in the real estate market, and the recently-approved national housing committees law and Israel Land Administration reform, have contributed – and will continue to contribute – to greatly increasing the supply of apartments, and a subsequent decline in housing prices, around the country," Netanyahu stated.
Housing starts were up 55% in the first half in the Southern District, up 29% in the Tel Aviv District, up 11.7% in the Haifa District, and up 9.3% in the Central District. Housing starts were down 11% in the Northern District and down 8% in the Jerusalem District.
The Central Bureau of Statistics also released positive numbers on the unemployment rate on Wednesday, reporting an all time low of 5.5% of the civilian labor force in the second quarter of 2011, down from 6% in the preceding quarter.  There were 176,000 unemployed in the second quarter.
Participation in the labor force rose to 57.5% in the second quarter from 57.4% in the first quarter. The number of employees was 3.2 million in the second quarter, including 3.03 million employed by 175,000 private sector businesses. The number of employees rose by 3.4% from 2.99 million in the corresponding quarter of 2010.
However, the number of people with full-time jobs (at least 35 hours a week) fell by 1%, or 20,000 people, from the preceding quarter, while the number of people with part-time jobs rose by 7%, or 56,000 people.