New Stats Say Israeli Unemployment Down by Half

YERUSHALAYIM -
israel unemployment rate
Stores at the Hadar Shopping mall in Jerusalem preparing for reopening in May. (Olivirer Fitoussi/Flash90)

The unemployment picture in Israel is better than recent surveys show, according to the Central Bureau of Statistics on Monday.

The number of employees on unpaid leave, dropped precipitously from 684,200 at the end of May to 213,600 in mid-June, or just 5.5 percent of the work force. Unemployment nationwide was halved, falling from 21 percent at the end of May to 10.7 percent in mid-June, according to the CBS.

Those figures describe a much bigger improvement than findings published by the National Insurance Institute (NII) and the Israel Employment Service (IES) for approximately the same period.

NII said there were 673,567 unemployed at the end of June, while the IES reported 861,000 seeking employment in the last week in June, including 605,000 on unpaid leave.

Authors of the CBS survey did not offer an explanation for the discrepancy.

The CBS data was credited with a stronger shekel versus the dollar and the euro. As of Monday afternoon, the shekel-dollar exchange rate was down 0.47 percent at NIS 3.441/$ and down 0.10% against the euro at NIS 3.899/€, Globes reported.

In addition figures released by CBS on Sunday showed that the housing market in terms of the number of deals completed had returned to normal level in May and June after the lockdown in March and April.

On Wednesday, the Central Bureau of Statistics is expected to announce the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for June, with economists predicting a 0.1 percent -0.2 percent decline.