Israel: Unemployment rate drops to lowest level since pandemic began
Only 186,100 Israelis were out of work in April
Israel's unemployment rate fell slightly to 4.4 percent in April from 4.8 percent in March, the lowest rate since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020, according to data published by the Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS).
The overall rate includes people who have been laid off or whose workplace has closed since March 2020 due to the pandemic, as well as people on unpaid leave who plan to return to their workplace.
The unemployment rate, excluding those affected by the pandemic, stood at 2.9 percent in April, well below pre-pandemic levels of around 3.5 percent, the lowest rate in 50 years.
A total of 186,100 Israelis were out of work in April, according to CBS figures, compared to 227,200 in March. Before the pandemic, an estimated 150,000 Israelis were unemployed.
After a drop at the end of January, the average salary rebounded in February to reach 12,052 shekels (or $3,594), a level similar to data published at the end of 2021, according to a separate CBS report.
The Bank of Israel Research Department predicts 3.5 percent unemployment at the end of 2022 with a continuing low level of unemployment in 2023.