Unemployment to reach 8% by 2010

Gov't report says 14 people will soon be competing for every position; Steinitz urges "emergency war."

Steinitz 224.88 (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski )
Steinitz 224.88
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski )
According to a report published by the Industry, Trade and Labor Ministry on Monday, by the end of 2009 there will be 14 people competing for every available position in the job market, compared with four people for every position before the financial crisis started. The report went on to state that since the crisis began, there had been a 56-percent decrease in available job openings. The report further predicted that in the first quarter of 2010, unemployment would reach 8%, or 250,000 people. Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz said on Monday at a Knesset Finance Committee meeting that "we must wage an emergency war against unemployment and for the economy and trade." Steinitz added that Israel was still not seeing the full effects of the global financial crisis but that if "we act accordingly, we can emerge from the crisis in 2010." On Sunday, the Central Bureau of Statistics released data which indicated that Israel was officially in a recession, for the first time in eight years.