The rate of unemployment in Israel in the second half of March fell to 8.9%, the Central Bureau of Statistics reports, compared with 9.8% in the first half of the month. The unemployment figure has been falling fast as the economy opens up due to the success of the vaccination rollout.
In the second half of March, 361,000 people were unemployed including those temporary out of work because of the lingering effects of the crisis, such as in the tourism industry.
Asked if Israel would end the unpaid leave payments initiated by the government last year in response to the Covid crisis, now that unemployment had fallen below 10%, Minister of Finance Israel Katz said that he had been talking to his senior officials on the matter, "but without harming those who are still unable to return to work due to the restrictions that still remain in force."
Earlier this week, the Bank of Israel forecast that unemployment would fall to 7.5% by the end of 2021.
Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on April 22, 2021
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