Unemployment office
Unemployment officeIsrael news photo: Flash 90

There was a slight drop in monthly income for Israelis in August. The average wage for Israeli workers fell 2.4% from the average in July, to NIS 8,994 (about $2,400). However, that figure was 3% higher than the average wage in July 2011.

The Central Bureau of Statistics report on income also said that there more jobs in Israel this past July. The number of available positions during that month was 1.6% higher than in the same month the previous year.

Although, as the CBS reported last week, employment in Israel is at an all-time high, with Israel's unemployment rate only 6.7% - one of the lowest in the Western world – some 250,000 Israelis are looking for work, and the Knesset on Tuesday approved a law that will make it easier for some Israelis to get unemployment benefits. According to the changes in the rules, individuals who work part-time will for the first time qualify for benefits.

Until now, the required time that an individual must be employed in order to qualify for benefits (between 6 months and a year) was computed in terms of whole months worked – so part time individuals were unable to easily qualify. Now, the benefits will be computed in terms of days worked, so part-time workers with enough days worked (300 for most) will now be able to qualify. Benefits will be determined based on the average wage of all days worked.

Welfare Minister Moshe Kachlon said that “the new measure will correct an injustice and transmits an important message to day workers, and it expands the number of people who will be able to receive unemployment benefits.” Kachlon said that according to National Insurance Institute figures, some 6,000 Israelis will immediately benefit from the change.