Unemployment rate down to 8.8% for first time in decade

The civilian labor force grew to over 2.78 million in the fourth quarter, of whom 2.54 million were employed.

For the first time in a decade, Israel’s unemployment rate fell to a seasonally adjusted 8.8% of the civilian labor force in the fourth quarter of 2005. The number of unemployed fell by 600 people during the quarter to 244,000, the Central Bureau of Statistics reported today. The unemployment rate was 8.9% in the third quarter, 9.9% in the fourth quarter of 2004, and 10.9% in the fourth quarter of 2003.

The unemployment among men fell to 8.4% in the fourth quarter, or 124,200. The unemployment among women fell to 9.2% in the fourth quarter, or 119,800. In recent years, the highest unemployment rate among men was 10.6% in the first quarter of 2003, and the highest rate among women was 12.1% in the first quarter of 2004.

The unemployment rate fell 7.1%, or 18,800 persons within a year. From the peak of 296,000 unemployed at the height of the intifada two years ago, the number of unemployed has fallen 17.5%, or 52,000 persons.

Israel’s workforce expanded by 93,000 in 2005, of which 54,000 full-time jobs and 39,000 part-time. The civilian labor force grew to over 2.78 in the fourth quarter, of whom 2.54 million were employed - 1.35 million men, and 1.18 million women. The proportion of the labor force rose to 55.7% of the population in the fourth quarter from 55.2% in the third. The proportion of working men was 61% of the male population in the fourth quarter, up from 60.8% in the third quarter. The proportion of working women was 50.6%, up from 49.9%.

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes.co.il - on February 28, 2006

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