Concerns about ‘chronic unemployment culture’ mount

22% of Israelis under 22 are unemployed • Economy Minister Amir Peretz calls to begin using the German Model.

Protest in front of Labor Court  (photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)
Protest in front of Labor Court
(photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)
Nearly a million Israelis were seeking work during the second COVID-19 imposed lockdown, the unemployment service reported on Sunday. The figures dipped to 940,000 by the end of October due to the lifting of some restrictions such as allowing small businesses such as hairdressers to reopen, as well as kindergartens.   
The report noted that in September, seven people were seeking work for each re-employed person. A month later the number dropped to 1.2 unemployed Israelis per each rehired person, leading the service to suggest that the economy is "learning how to bounce back from lockdowns faster."   
Worst hit are women, who are a majority (55.6%) among those seeking work, and non-haredi (ultra-Orthodox) Jews, who made 74% of the total number of unemployed in October. The service believes this is an indication that the COVID-19 induced economic slump is now affecting formally strong groups in society. The report found that among Arab-Israelis, unemployment went down from the April figure of 24.3% to 19.2% in October.  
Israelis between the ages of 18-24 are badly hit by the current economic slump, the report warns. In September they were 20.7% of those seeking work and in October they were 21.9%. A similar increase was noted among those between the ages of 24-35 who were 29.2% of those seeking work in September and 30.7% in October.  
The data reveal that the younger group is having much less success with returning to work, with only 13.3% able to do so. This is because many worked in the service industry, which was badly hit in the crisis.    
Eilat is the city with the largest number of job seekers, the report warned, and that the beginning of winter calls on "providing an answer" to the many unemployed residents in the southern city, which usually makes much of its income from tourism.
While haredi cities noted the largest drop in the number of job seekers due to educational institutions reopening and the return of teachers to work in that sector, Arab-Israeli cities saw the lowest numbers of people finding new jobs. The ultra-Orthodox community refuses to obey health instructions imposed on the general educational system, this despite being state funded.   
The unemployment service called to promote training programs which combine internship with practical field work to allow the young a path to regain a foothold in the job market.   
ECONOMY MINISTER  warned that "we're in the midst of setting a chronic culture of unemployment" and called to begin using the German Model.