Israel's unemployment continued to fall in May 2011, reaching 5.7% of the civilian labor force in trend figures - an all-time low, the Central Bureau of Statistics reported today.
In absolute terms, the number of unemployed was 183,000. The previous low point was an unemployment rate of 5.9% in May-August 2008. The figures clearly show that the unemployment rate has been steadily falling since the beginning of 2011, from 6.1% in January to 5.7% in May.
The Bank of Israel recently commented on the encouraging labor market figures, saying that the economy was nearing full employment. This means that most of the civilian labor force that wants to work is working. For the economy to continue to grow and realize its growth potential, new working populations, which have not wanted to work until now, will have to join the labor force, i.e. an increase in participation in the labor force.
The nearing of full employment also mean that the labor shortage will increase employees' bargaining power, which could put pressure on salaries. This has not yet been seen, and salaries in real terms are still flat.
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on July 25, 2011
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