The rate of unemployment in July stood at 7.9 percent of the civilian labor force for the fourth month in a row, according to preliminary data published by the Central Bureau of Statistics on Thursday, The CBS figures show that the rate of unemployment was constant at a level of 7.9% in the months April to July. Since the outbreak of the global economic crisis the rate of unemployment increased gradually from 6.1% last September to 7.2% in January and 7.7% in March this year. The statistics bureau defines an unemployed person as someone who did not work during the surveyed week, actively searched for work during the preceding four weeks, and could have begun to work had a job been offered. Last month the Israel National Employment Service reported that for the first time since May last year, trend figures for July showed that the number of unemployed did not rise month over month. According to the trend figures, the number of unemployed stood at 210,410 in July compared with 210,470 in June. The preliminary data for July published by CBS revised earlier figures published last month according to which the jobless rate averaged 8% or 241,000 unemployed in the second quarter of this year from 7.6% or 228,000 unemployed in the previous quarter putting 13,000 more employees out of work. The last time the unemployment rate hit 8% was in the beginning of the fourth quarter of September 2006, after which the rate dropped gradually to a low of 5.9% last August.