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14 unemployed seen for every job

May 18, 2009. Globes: Michal Yoshai

Ministry of Industry's grim picture: Demand for workers now lower than in 2002.

The Ministry of Industry, Trade and Labor today released its "Analysis of the main developments in the labor market since the beginning of the economic slowdown", which depicts a grim and worrying situation, especially for people who became unemployed in recent months.

The report predicts fourteen unemployed will compete for each available job by the end of 2009, compared with four unemployed who competed for each available job during the peak growth period in 2007-2008. Currently, eleven unemployed compete for each available job. Since the start of the slowdown in the labor market, 60,000 Israelis have lost their jobs because of the impact of the global economic crisis on the Israeli economy.

The Ministry of Industry says, "It is becoming more and more certain that the unemployment rate will reach 8% in the first half of 2010." This is also the conclusion of the Bank of Israel and other agencies.

The Ministry of Industry's report also states that demand for workers, as measured by the number of available jobs, has fallen 56% since the start of the crisis to an average of 20,000 a day. The current demand for jobs is similar to, and even lower than, the level prevalent during the previous slowdown in 2002-2003. The Ministry of Industry's report is based on employers' surveys conducted since 1997.

The quarterly surveys cover more than 2,400 respondents, who are a representative sample of the business sector. Additional sources are Central Bureau of Statistics figures for recent months.
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