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Job market data presents mixed signals

August 5, 2010. Globes: Omer Rabin

Israel's labor market is continuing to recover from the economic crisis, albeit by small steps. The Israel National Employment Service reports a 0.4% drop in the number of unemployed in June to 205,734 persons, from 207,473 persons in May, in seasonally adjusted figures.

The decline followed the 0.8% drop in the number of unemployed in May and the 1.1% drop in April. The largest decline - 1.3% - was in the number of unemployed in June was among jobseekers without academic degrees.

However, the Employment Service also reported a 1.8% increase in the number of newly unemployed in June, to 19,272 persons. 67% of the people who first contacted the Employment Service in June had been just laid off.

25.8% of jobseekers, 53,085 persons, reside in Arab communities, and 15.5%, or 32,000 persons, reside in development towns.

Employment Service general manager Yossi Farhi said, "The conclusion from the figures is that the situation in the labor market is unclear. There are contradictory trends. On one hand, we a negligible rise in the number of layoffs and a slowing in the decline in the unemployment rate, while there is also an increase in demand for workers in recent months."

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