Even as unemployment trends reflected a slight improvement in November, a recent survey showed that just 31 percent of participants in government vocational training courses found work in their first year after graduation.

The Ministry of Industry, Trade and Labor reported Sunday that of those who found work in the year after completing the course, around 32% left the job market, with 46.7% citing reasons related to the lower demand for workers and the remainder giving personal reasons for not working.

The survey questioned students in 52 courses run by the ministry that started between February and April 2005. At the time of the survey, 23% of course participants from the period evaluated were still employed. Just 8% of those employed were from the Arab sector, while 44.7% were new immigrants and 35% were Jewish-Israeli participants.

Meanwhile, the Israel Employment Services reported Sunday that the number of job seekers registered with the agency dropped to 209,000 in November, from 231,500 people in the parallel month in 2005 and from 210,200 in October this year.

In seasonally adjusted terms, the IES had 2.8% fewer people on its books than in October as university-educated claimants led the decline with 6.6% fewer registered with the service.

IES said it had 19,100 new registrations in November, of which 57.5% had been dismissed from previous positions, while 13.2% were recently released from the army. Of the 2,848 new registries who were on welfare-to-work programs, just 79 came from the Mehalev program.

The monthly survey showed that around 24% of the total number of job seekers came from the Arab sector and 16% were in development towns, with the remaining 60% spread throughout the country.

IES said that 39% of the job seekers had been unemployed for more than 270 days, while 12.4% had been out of work for between 181 and 270 days while 14.7% had spent 91 to 180 days on the IES's registry.