About 19,719 Israelis lost their jobs in January, the Israeli Employment Service (IES) revealed Tuesday. The new number sets a new, all-time record, after December saw 17,499 people reported at the IES.
The new figure also represents a 15.1% rise from January of 2008.
Nevertheless, the IES said that the affects the Israeli offensive in Gaza had on the number of Israelis seeking employment have yet to be made clear, since IES bureaus in the south were closed during the war.
David Tzarfati, head of the IES’ Research Branch was less than optimistic, saying he believed that by the end of 2009, more than 260,000 people would be registered in the Employment Service database.
Employment Service Director Yossi Parchi called on the government to hold an immediate session on Israel's unemployment rate, "in order to better equip the service and allow us to meet the growing needs of those who found themselves unemployed."
The Israeli Employment Service also said that overall, the number of jobless people has grown by 1.3% each month, for the past 10 months.