Thursday, May 29, 2008

Unemployment Down to 24-Year Low

Ezra HaLevi

Israel’s unemployment rate fell to 6.3 percent in the first quarter of 2008 – its lowest in 24 years. The rate for men dropped to 5.9 percent – its lowest in 30 years.

The unemployment rate declined from 6.7 percent in the fourth quarter of 2007 and 7.8 percent in the first quarter of 2007. Israel’s labor force totaled 2.94 million in the first quarter, 2.76 million of whom had jobs. The average number of unemployed in the first quarter of this year was 184,600, the lowest number since 1990.

The unemployment rate for women declined as well, to 6.7 percent.

Participation in the labor force among Israelis rose to 56.6 percent from 56.1 percent last quarter. 62.3 percent of men worked and 51.3 percent of women.

The figures do not illustrate the problems of underemployment and workers forced to take part-time work, however.

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