Israel’s unemployment rate is falling faster than expected. It fell to 7.7% of the civilian workforce in the fourth quarter of 2006, the lowest level since the mid-1990s, the Central Bureau of Statistics reported today. The unemployment rate was 8.3% in the preceding quarter and 8.9% in the corresponding quarter of 2005.
The number of unemployed was 218,700 in the fourth quarter, down from 232,000 in the third quarter and 247,000 in the corresponding quarter of 2005. The number of unemployed fell by 28,300 within a year, and the unemployment rate was down by 1.2 percentage points.

The unemployment is 3.2 percentage points below the all-time high of 10.9% in early 2004. The number of unemployed has fallen by 73,400 persons since the all-time high of 292,100 in the first quarter of 2004.

The unemployment rate among men fell to 7.1% of the male civilian workforce in the fourth quarter, down from 7.9% in the preceding quarter. The unemployment rate among women fell to 8.5% of the female civilian workforce in the fourth quarter, down from 8.7% in the preceding quarter.

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes.co.il - on February 28, 2007