Politicians take credit for, discredit unemployment drop

Likud latches onto the report as confirmation of Netanyahu's economic resume.

Politicians responded Tuesday to a report that the unemployment rates had dropped by ten percent by taking credit or discrediting the report. "The number of poor workers has risen drastically, and the unemployment rate was brought down artificially by harsher criteria for receiving unemployment," said a Labor Party statement. "The [Acting Prime Minister Ehud] Olmert and [Likud Chairman Benjamin] Netanyahu will battle unemployment by conducting an operation that succeeds while the patient dies." Meanwhile, Likud Party officials were quick to latch onto the report as a confirmation of Binyamin Netanyahu's economic resume. "This important news is proof that the success of the economic policies led by Likud Chairman Binyamin Netanyahu," said a Likud Party spokesman. "Since Netanyahu began his economic reforms 200,000 Israelis have entered the work force." Kadima candidate and Economics Professor Dan Ben-David, said that while the decrease in unemployment marked an important step, it was not enough. "We have come from a serious recession, but in the long run this path is not sustainable," said Ben-David. "The problem of unemployment is one of unskilled workers, and their problem will get worse unless we get our act together and deal with it. That is part of our agenda in Kadima, to give them the skills and tools to compete in the modern, open economy."