Data Shows: Over 850,000 Israelis Still Unemployed

Israelis help prepare food packages for those in need, following the economic difficulties and high unemployment due to restrictions set up to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, July 20, in Tel Aviv. (Tomer Neuberg/Flash90)

There are 851,051 unemployed workers in Israel, out of which 536,906 have been forced to take unpaid leave due to the coronavirus pandemic, according to data released by the Israeli Employment Service this week.

The service also noted that the number of job seekers in August was significantly higher than in the previous two months, May and June.

As of July, Israel’s unemployment rate stood at 21%.

According to a study carried out by the Finance Ministry and published in early August, it would take Israel between four to five years to recover to pre-pandemic employment levels. Before the beginning of the pandemic, Israel’s unemployment rate stood at under 5%.

The study also showed the past two months’ stagnation in the labor market highlights opposing trends in different industries.

Though there has been a gradual recovery of sectors less affected by the crisis, such as the high-tech sector, parts of the economy limited by public health restrictions such as the retail and hospitality sectors continue to struggle.

The shutdown of the Israeli economy following the coronavirus pandemic has also resulted in higher unemployment rates among women than men, according to a report from the Taub Center for Studies in Social Policy.

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