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Unemployment fell in October

November 23, 2009. Globes: Hillel Koren

The Israel National Employment Service today reported a 0.3% drop in the number of unemployed to 208,600 in October 2009, from 209,300 in September. The drop follows a steady increase averaging 1.6% a month in the number of unemployed between May 2008 and June 2009.

221,600 jobseekers applied to the Employment Service in October, down from 226,500 in September. In seasonally adjusted figures, the number of jobseekers fell 3.7% to 224,700 from 233,500.

13,240 persons lost their jobs in October, down from 15,716 in September. 49.8% of the people who lost their jobs in October were women. The 25-34 age group suffered the largest number of job losses, at 5,093.

A breakdown of unemployment figures by towns shows wide extremes between unemployment hubs and large cities. Nazareth has a 15.3% unemployment rate, Ofakim has 14.9%, and Dimona 12.4%. Arab towns Arabeh has 26.9% and Taibe has 24.4%. At the other end of the spectrum, the unemployment rate in Ramat Hasharon is 2.1%, Ra'anana has 2.3%, and Kfar Saba has 2.7%.

Employment Service director general Yossi Farhi said, "The Employment Service figures show a drop in the number of jobseekers. It's still premature to say whether this is a turnaround in the unemployment situation, and great caution should be taken in analyzing the trends. It is necessary to wait for the November and December figures."

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