2018 ended with a slight rise in unemployment in December, but the year was still one of the best ever in the Israeli labor market, according to figures published today by the Central Bureau of Statistics. The year will be remembered mainly for the 20,000 employees hired in the high-tech sector, where men are still over-represented.
The Central Bureau of Statistics today reported that, according to its personnel survey, the unemployment rate among people over 15 rose from 4.1% in November to 4.2% in December. The unemployment rate in the 25-64% age bracket was 3.7%, compared with 3.5% in the third quarter of 2018.
Despite the slight increase, the unemployment rate among those over 15 fell from 4.2% in 2017 to 4% in 2018, the lowest figure in recent years. The proportion of people in the 25-64 age bracket participating in the labor force rose from 80% in 2017 to 80.3% in 2018. The proportion of Israel's workers employed in high-tech, the spur of Israel's economic growth, rose from 9% in 2017 to 9.4% in 2018, and the number of high-tech employees grew from 301,000 to 321,000. The Central Bureau of Statistics' definition of high tech covers companies manufacturing pharmaceuticals, computers, electronic and optical equipment, aircraft, satellites, space vehicles and related equipment, and companies providing services in communications, computer programming, consultancy in computers and related services, data processing, storage and related services, websites, and R&D centers. Two thirds of those employed in high tech are men and one third women. The number of jobs in the fourth quarter was 15,000 more than in the third quarter, with the biggest increase being in the information and communications sector, in which 21,000 jobs were added, while the number of jobs in education fell by 21,000.
The number of jobs through manpower services companies fell from 38,300 in 2017 to just 21,200 in 2018. The employment rate among Arabs in the 25-64 age bracket rose from 54.6% in 2017 to 55.6% in 2018, but is still far short of the corresponding figures of 82.1% in 2017 and 82.5% in 2018 for Jews.
Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on January 31, 2019
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