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Israel's unemployment rate falls


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Pedestrians at the Carmel Market in Tel Aviv, August 17, 2021.
Miriam Alster/FLASH90Pedestrians at the Carmel Market in Tel Aviv, August 17, 2021.

Government point to its decision not to impose another lockdown as cause for positive figures

Israel's unemployment rate fell slightly last month, but remains high from levels seen before the coronavirus pandemic, according to a new report released by the Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS) on Sunday.

The overall unemployment rate was 7.8% in the second half of August 2021, down slightly from the 8.1% recorded in the first half of the month. 

This figure includes people made redundant or those whose workplaces have closed since March 2020, as well as people on unpaid leave who plan to return to work.

More than 333,500 people were either unemployed or on unpaid leave due to the coronavirus in the second half of August, according to the CBS, compared to 349,600 in the first half of the month.

The unemployment rate (not counting people affected by the pandemic), stood at 5.6%, against 5.3% in the first half of August.

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett on Sunday welcomed the new unemployment figures and attributed the drop to the fact that his government favored opening the economy to lockdowns, which he said jeopardize the security of the country.

"When the economy is open, unemployment goes down," Bennett said in a statement released by his office on Sunday.