Israel’s financial leadership celebrated the sharp decrease in the unemployment rates in the country, another sign of its recovery from the financial crisis generated by the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
The Central Statistics Bureau reported Wednesday that the percentage in the labor force of persons temporarily absent from work due to reasons related to the Coronavirus pandemic and other unemployed persons was 9.5% in March, a sharp drop from the 14% in the previous month.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu noted that “for the first time, the monthly unemployment rate has dropped below 10%. The rate of unemployment for March is 9.5% as opposed to 14% in February. From 25% unemployment at the peak of the crisis, we have succeeded in reaching the goal of less than 10%, and it will continue to decline.”
He said that this positive trend is progressing “thanks to the millions of vaccines that we brought to Israel and which have led to the opening of the Israeli economy and its jump forward, and to getting back to life.”
The almost miraculous improvement in Israel’s situation vis-à-vis the Coronavirus is attributed to its success to rapidly vaccinate its population.
About 85% of Israelis aged 16 years old and above, to whom the vaccines are accessible, have been vaccinated, or have recovered from the virus.
Minister of Finance Yisrael Katz welcomed updated unemployment figures, saying they “reflect the continuation of the positive trend and the direct result of returning the economy to activity made possible by the vaccines and the extensive economic safety net we deployed to the self-employed, business owners and Corona unemployed, which gave them the economic infrastructure to go through the crisis and return to recovery.”
His ministry is now working to implement special assistance for employers to absorb people who have been out of the employment market for a long time, while at the same time continuing to provide incentives that will help long-term unemployed and accelerate the budget and vocational training for preferred professions with high wages and productivity, he said.
“This positive figure joins the overall improvement in the macro trends of the Israeli economy, including state revenues, a significant recovery in trade, leisure, and a record in credit card purchases, which together constitute a signal of the strength of the Israeli economy,” he underscored.