Layoffs down 4% in December
The National Insurance Institute today reported that the number of new claims for unemployment fell by 4% to 15,400 in December 2009 from 16,000 in November. The number of unemployment claims fell 2% to 86,000 from 89,500 over the same period.
The National Insurance Institute said that the figures reflected the ongoing improvement in the job market during the second half of 2009; there were 97,000 claims for unemployment benefits in June. Nevertheless, the number of unemployment claims in December was 10% higher than in 2008.
Minister of Labor and Social Service Isaac Herzog said that the extension of unemployment benefits, which came into effect last week, would ease the condition of the unemployed and help them reenter the job market. "Despite the encouraging figures about the decline in applications for unemployment benefits, we'll continue to help as far as possible the people who have lost their jobs, which causes severe family, personal, and psychological crises," he said.
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