Israeli labor market tightens as recovery continues

Israel's upward path of economic recovery from the global recession continued with encouraging more encouraging figures released by the Bank of Israel of Tuesday.
According to the Bank of Israel, the number of employees as a share of the total working age population has reached the level last seen before the crisis and the unemployment rate has decreased to 6.2 percent of the total labor force.
"The increase in economic activity encompassed most of the principal industries and led to a significant improvement in the employment situation. The number of employees increased very rapidly, bringing their share in the total working-age population back to its pre-crisis level," said the statement.
The Bank also cited the decreasing ratio of unemployed to number of job vacancies or "index of labor market tightness" as sign of recovery.  Generally, a tighter labor market leads to increasing wages as employers bid more to hire needed workers. "This index continued to fall in the second quarter of 2010, due to a drop in the number of unemployed and an increase in the number of vacancies," according to the Bank's statement.
Interestingly, the Bank said that labor market tightness has recovered more rapidly in the periphery as compared to Tel Aviv and the Center where it still has not reached the pre-crisis level of unemployed workers to job vacancies.