Israel's unemployment soars as lockdown set to be tightened

Employment Service reports since start of the nationwide lockdown, 109,378 people registered as unemployed, bringing the overall number of jobless in the country to 837,000; another 200,000 expected to be registered by end of lockdown

Gad Lior |
Israel's unemployment figures have soared since the country entered a nationwide lockdown last week as the government prepares to tighten restrictions and close even more sectors of the economy.
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  • Israel entered a three-week long lockdown on Friday in an effort to contain the coronavirus outbreak, shuttering many businesses and industries as a result. On Wednesday the coronavirus cabinet is set to vote to significantly tighten the lockdown, shuttering many industries.
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    לשכת התעסוקה בחולון
    לשכת התעסוקה בחולון
    Employment Service offices in Holon
    (Photo: Kobi Koankas )
    On Monday the Employment Service reported that over 40,000 people have already registered as jobless since Thursday last week.
    By Wednesday that number has gone up to 109,378, putting the overall number of unemployed in the country to 837,000, of whom 500,562 are on unpaid leave. Since Tuesday alone, another 39,237 people have registered with the service.
    At least 86,738 of the newly-unemployed have registered with the service for the second time since the start of the coronavirus outbreak in March.
    The National Insurance Institute estimates that tightening of the lockdown will cause another 200,000 workers to be immediately fired or furloughed.
    The Finance Ministry said it plans to offer employers - whose businesses have taken a hit since the start of the lockdown - an incentive of NIS 5,000 for each employee staying on the company's payroll.
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