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Plenty of jobs, but no work: Vacancies reach record high

CM 18/04/2021

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Unemployment may still be high, but it is not because there are no jobs available. Israel had a record 112,500 vacancies available in March, the highest recorded figure ever, the Central Bureau of Statistics reported Sunday.
About 30% of businesses surveyed were looking to hire employees in March, compared with 21% in February, the report said. The rise follows the opening up of the economy after the third lockdown.
All sectors had an increase in job vacancies during March, led by the hospitality, food, entertainment and leisure industries, as well as for commercial stores. In most of the industries surveyed, the number of job vacancies was higher than their average before the coronavirus crisis, the report said.
Some 34% of businesses surveyed said they employ more people now than they did before the pandemic. About 19% said they have fewer than half as many employees as they did before the crisis began.
The unemployment rate has averaged 16% over the course of the pandemic, but it dropped to below 10% in April as the vaccination campaign allowed the economy to reopen, the statistics bureau reported.
Israel is now encouraging people receiving furlough payments (halat) to go back to work by offering grants and incentives to employers and employees. The country had previously guaranteed unemployment benefits through the end of June. Some 547,000 people are still registered as unemployed, according to the Employment Service.
Separately, the economy shrank 2.6% in 2020, not 2.4% as previously reported, the statistics bureau reported Sunday. That was still much better than the 5.5% average contraction reported by OECD countries during the pandemic.

Source: Jerusalem Post

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