Number of jobseekers falls
The Israel National Employment Service today reported the first fall in the number of jobseekers since May 2008. The number of jobseekers in July 2009 totaled 210,410 compared with 210,470 in June.
Minister of Industry, Trade and Labor Binyamin Ben-Eliezer said that the figures should be treated with "great caution," and that it would only be clear in the coming months whether this was a new trend.
He added, "I certainly welcome these figures and according to them for the first time since the start of the crisis the rise in unemployment has been halted."
Ben-Eliezer said, "Don't forget it is still out obligation to get more than 210,000 people back to work. Reports that we have come out of the recession in the second quarter have been exaggerated and we must continue to use all the instruments at our disposal to encourage growth, assist small and medium businesses and help exporters."
Despite Ben-Eliezer's caution, sources in the Employment Service do not hesitate to use the work "turnaround" regarding the latest data. The figures show that 23,000 new Israelis joined the ranks of the unemployed in July of whom 16,500 were fired. This figure has fallen by an average of 1.4% a month since April. However, before the crisis there was only an average of 10,000 to 11,000 new unemployed each month.
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