January job losses hit all-time high

19,719 Israelis dismissed; BOI to buy millions of shekels worth of gov't bonds to boost liquidity.

unemployment 224.88 (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
unemployment 224.88
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
The repercussions of the global economic crisis appear to be intensifying, with a record number of Israelis losing their jobs last month, the National Employment Service reported Tuesday. January's dismissals totaled 19,719, a four-percent increase from the previous month, when 17,499 Israelis were made redundant. Of those dismissed last month, 8,000 are still looking for work, according to the National Employment Service. All in all, 27,622 additional people registered as seeking work in January, compared with 24,406 in December, bringing the total number up to 218,500, an increase of 15.1 percent from January 2008, and 3.8% compared to December. In related news, starting Tuesday morning, the Bank of Israel was set to buy millions of shekels worth of government bonds in a bid to boost liquidity in the banking system and the stock market. The new open-market operations will enable the bank to expand the scope of monetary policy, now mainly limited to short-term credit, to "longer interest rate maturities," the central bank said. The bank will buy government debt of "different types and maturities" and release figures on its activities once a month, it added in a statement.