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Leumi: Growing optimism fuels unemployment

December 23, 2010. Globes: Koby Yeshayahou

Bank Leumi attributes the rise in the unemployment rate in the third quarter of 2010 to increased participation in the labor force, which indicates growing optimism by the working-age population of the chances of finding a job as the economy recovers and GDP has resumed robust growth.

Most of the increase in the number of employees in the third quarter was in the business sector, and the economy is apparently nearing full employment. This could lead to pressure to raise salaries. "We believe that a slowdown in growth next year (2011) is liable to slow the decline in the unemployment rate and the nearing of full employment."

As for the real estate market, Bank Leumi says that 2,058 new homes were sold in October (seasonally adjusted). The increase in sales was especially high compared with September, and may have been due to the very few business days, due to the Jewish holidays that month, which resulted in transactions only closing in October.

"It should be emphasized that, even neutralizing the high monthly figure for October, the pace of home sales is rising," says the bank.

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