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Jobseeker numbers drop

March 21, 2010. Globes: Koby Yeshayahou

213,262 jobseekers applied to the Israel National Employment Service (INES) in February 2010, more than the 197,750 in January, but down from 220,660 in February 2009. The January figures are original figure that are biased downwards because of the labor sanctions at the Employment Service during the month.

The Employment Service handled 214,018 jobseekers during February, down from the 221,022 jobseekers handled in December 2009. The number of jobseekers with university degrees, excluding applicants for income support fell by 7.5%, and the number of jobseekers without higher degrees, excluding applicants for income support fell by 7.7%.

Excluding seasonal factors and holidays, jobseeker numbers fell by 3.2%.

Employment Service director general Yossi Farhi said, "Analysis of the figures points to a further drop in the number of unemployed in February. There were 199,600 unemployed in trend figures in February, compared with 200,600 in January, a decline of 0.5%. There was also a 1.7% drop in the number of newly unemployed."

Farhi added, "The average number of newly unemployed fell to 11,300 over the past three months, down from 19,200 in the first quarter of 2009, at the height of the crisis. This figure is indicative of layoffs characteristic of a period of frictional unemployment."

12,933 people lost their jobs in February, compared with 12,411 in December. 6,365 of the newly unemployed in February were woman and 6,568 were men. In original figures, 18,528 people joined the ranks of the unemployed in February, of whom 69.8% were men.

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