The number of job seekers increased at a more moderate pace in June, the Employment Service reported Wednesday. Record layoffs in the labor market at the beginning of the year have slowed down gradually over the past few months, it said. In June, the number of job seekers increased at a rate of 0.8 percent, in seasonally adjusted terms, adding 1,900 people who were looking for work to a total of 231,500, the Employment Service said. That compares with a monthly increase of 1.2% in May, 1.7% in April, 2.1% in March, 2.5% in February and 2.7% in January, it said. Last month 15,600 workers were laid off, compared with a record 20,072 in March. "The figures point to a slowdown in the growth rate of the number of job seekers, which can be attributed to a 25% decline in new layoffs, accounting for most of the newly added job seekers," Employment Service director Yossi Farhi said Wednesday. "But unemployment numbers are still rising, albeit at a more moderate pace." Quarterly figures showed that the number of workers who lost their jobs slowed to a monthly average of 14,400 in the second quarter, from a monthly average of 19,200 in the preceding quarter. That compares with a monthly average of 11,600 in the years 2007 and 2008. June unemployment was highest in the South, at 11.5%; followed by the North, at 10.3%; and 6.6% in the center of the country. That compares with the national unemployment rate of 7.1%. Unemployment was lowest in the Dan region and Jerusalem, both at 4.3%. In June, the number of job seekers without academic background and who do not receive income support rose by 3.6%, while the number of job seekers with degrees rose by 3%. The number of job seekers who receive income support fell by 1.5%. The data showed that 76,300 job seekers, or 33%, were out of work for more than 270 days over the past 12 months. Demand for workers rose by 8% in June, to 24,900 requests, compared with the same month last year, and by 11.4%, compared with the previous month. The Employment Service said it had found jobs for 12,700 people in June, 34.8% more than the 9,400 placements made in June 2008. "In the first half of the year, average monthly demand for workers was 21,504 requests, compared with 22,308 requests during the second half of 2008," Farhi said. "The 3.6% decline is due to the slowdown in economic activity. However, average monthly demand for workers in the May-to-June period rose by 15.8%, compared with the January-to-April period."