Some 2,447 new job seekers joined the employment market in Israel on Sunday, bringing the total number of registered job seekers to 165,551 since the beginning of the coronavirus lockdown, according to a Monday morning update by the Israeli Employment Service (IES).
Some 130,392 (78.8%) of those registered are on unpaid leave and 35,159 (21.2%) were fired or quit. In the past day, 1,193 workers were fired or quit.
Since January 25, the IES has recorded a consistent increase in the rate of layoffs and resignations among the total daily new job seekers, from 36% last Monday to about 50% today.
The main sectors impacted by the lockdown are the education sector, making up 26.2% of all those unemployed, and the retail and service industry, making up 15% of all those unemployed. In total, the two sectors make up about 41.2% of all registrants.
Dr. Gal Zohar, Director of the Employment Research and Policy Department, explained in a press release that the third lockdown has really been like two separate lockdowns split between the time before restrictions were tightened and time after restrictions were tightened.
The first part of the lockdown mainly effected retail and service workers as they were the main ones restricted under the lockdown. Once schools were closed as restrictions were tightened, education workers became the main sector impacted.
As time goes on, the effect of the restrictions on the labor market decreases in terms of the number of new registrants, but the percentage of registrants who are fired or quit instead of being sent on unpaid leave increases, because the longer a lockdown continues, the less employers will spend on unpaid leave, according to Zohar.
"Beyond that, this trend is very disturbing because it indicates an increase in the number of job seekers who will find themselves in prolonged unemployment and find it difficult to return to work the day after the crisis," added Zohar. "This is because while the unpaid leave framework maintains some connection to the employer, and in any case to the labor market, the firing or resignation framework further distances the job seeker from the labor market and as a result harms his chances of returning to the market. Our main concern is not towards the temporary applicants, who will return to work, but towards those who may find themselves in prolonged unemployment and for whom we focus our efforts."