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      Unemployment Down Again in Israel

      The Israeli economy continues to do well in the face of ongoing problems in the world economy, with unemployment down again
      By David Lev
      First Publish: 6/30/2013, 8:18 PM

      Unemployment office
      Unemployment office
      Flash 90

      The Israeli economy continues to do well in the face of ongoing problems in the world economy. Israel's unemployment rate remained a relatively mild 6.9% in May, the same as in April.

      Experts said that the relatively stable employment situation was a sign that the Israeli economy was flexible and versatile enough to withstand the major fluctuations in the world economy – including the near-bankruptcy of several European countries (among them large importers of Israeli exports), continued weakness in the U.S., and a relatively weakening of China's economy that was sending shock waves through many industries.

      Among men, the unemployment rate in May was down slightly compared with April – from 7% to 6.8%, the Central Bureau of Statistics said. It was up slightly for women, from 6.8% to 7%. However, the total number of employed people in Israel ticked up slightly – by 0.1%, with a total of 3,415,000 people employed in Israel. Experts said, however, that when the “underground” economy was taken into account – the one in which individuals worked “off the books” and did not declare their incomes – the number of employed Israelis was likely much higher.

      Altogether, about 253,000 people in Israel said they were looking for work, a number in line with expectations by the Finance Ministry and the Bank of Israel.