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Manufacturers report rise in productivity, new employees

August 7, 2007. The Jerusalem Post: Matthew Krieger
The country's manufacturers reported a rise in productivity of 1.3 percent for the months of April and May, the Manufacturers' Association of Israel said on Monday. The association additionally noted that over those two months, the number of new industrial workers rose by 2,400, or 0.7%.

"Of course I am happy with this growth, but we are always looking for more," said Robbie Ginel, the director of the economic branch of the Manufacturers' Association. "This comes after very rapid growth in the job sector over the first quarter of the year, in which numbers of manufacturing employees rose 1.4%."

According to Ginel, over the course of 2007 some 13,500 new workers have been hired by manufacturing companies, with a majority coming in the hi-tech sector.

In April and May alone, he said, 47% of new manufacturing employees, or 1,130 people, were hired by hi-tech firms, including companies that produce electrical components, medical devices and communications equipment. "The new hirings represent job growth in the sector of 1.2%, which follows growth of 1.3% in the first quarter of the year," said Ginel.

In the mid-integrated technology sector, approximately 730 new workers were hired over the months of April and May, while the hi- integrated sector reported 390 new hirings.

The association highlighted in its report that the country's manufacturing employees produced 1% more over the same number of working hours in April and May when compared to the first quarter of the year.

In a seperate report, the association noted that Israeli factories are having difficulties hiring skilled workers.

Approximately two-thirds of the 170 companies polled in the second quarter of this year reported problems in finding the proper workers, the report said.

The association estimated that there is a shortage of 4,000 skilled workers in the country. Israel's unemployment rate in May was 7.6%, the lowest in a decade
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