The layoffs of hundreds of employees announced this week by Intel Israel are only the start of a “major wave of layoffs,” Manufacturers Association of Israel president Shraga Brosh predicted on Thursday.
“They say we’re a startup nation, but there have been layoffs in all industrial sectors, and it will be the same with the next wave of layoffs I expect,” he told a conference of the Ministry of Economic and Industry Foreign Trade Administration, according to Globes.
Some 2,225 industrial workers have been laid off since the beginning of 2015, the equivalent of 0.5% of the total industrial labor force, according to Manufacturers Association figures.
Had public sector hiring not offset those losses, unemployment in Israel would have reached 8%, the Association’s analysts say.
Brosh added doom to gloom, saying that “Israel should produce 150,000 new jobs a year, but when production is going down and exports are going down, where do the workers go? They go to the public sector. The public sector will continue to be inflated more and more, until it collapses.”
He attributed the job losses to, among other things, the excellent conditions offered by other countries for the building of new plants.
“All countries want to embrace Israeli companies, so that we switch to them. As an Israeli industrialist, I find this trend very alarming. This process has already begun, and when it will end is unknown. We all know that an enterprise that has already made the move and set up an overseas plant will also build its second plant overseas, not in Israel,” he said.
To reverse the trend, he said the government has to invest much more in growth and productivity.
“Much more can be done, including aid in investments, extensive technological training, and development of new export markets.”