Adults waiting at the Employment Bureau
Photo: Yehonatan Tzur

4% drop in new unemployment claims

Some 15,400 people turn to National Insurance offices newly seeking unemployment benefits in December versus 16,000 in November. Second half of 2009 sees drop from 97,000 claims in June to 86,000 claims in December

The National Insurance Institute announced Monday another decrease in the number of people seeking unemployment benefits. In December 2009, some 15,400 new applicants arrived at National Insurance offices seeking jobless payments, versus 16,000 new claims filed in the previous month in a 4% drop.


The National Insurance Institute noted that the second half of 2009 was characterized by a steady decline in the number of unemployment applications. The numbers dropped from about 97,000 in June 2009 to some 86,000 in December 2009.


This stands in stark contrast with the unemployment trends witnessed in the first half of 2009. Some 70,000 unemployment benefits applications were filed at the end of 2008, while some 97,000 were filed in June 2009.


Despite the drop in the second half of the year, the National Insurance Institute noted an approximate 50% increase in the number of overall unemployment applications in 2009 and a more moderate 34% increase of newly unemployed applicants since 2008.


"These trends match the changes in the economic indicators published by the Central Bureau of Statistics. At the beginning of the year, there were sharp drops in these indicators, whereas in the last months of the year there was a nice increase in commercial exports, industrial production, commerce, and the import of raw materials," reported the National Insurance Institute.


"The National Insurance Institute successfully dealt with the economic crisis by passing two amendments legislated during the crisis itself that ease up on the unemployed population. These changes expanded the eligibility for unemployment benefits and expanded the payment period," said NII Director General Esther Dominissini.


"I hope that the upwards trend in the economic situation will continue," she added.


Welfare and Social Services Minister Isaac Herzog said, "Despite the encouraging figures indicating a drop in the number of unemployment benefits, we will continue to take action in order to ease up as much as possible on those who have left the labor market, something that induced a serious family, personal, and emotional crisis (for them).


"I see aid to the unemployed as a hallmark of my ministry's work, and I suggest that we not rest on our laurels by declaring the economy is out of the recession. The State of Israel has a moral obligation to thousands of citizens for whom integration into the work force is vital for maintaining a normal way of life," he added.


פרסום ראשון: 01.04.10, 15:26
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