Employment office
Employment officeIsrael news photo: Flash 90
Unemployment continued to drop in the month of May, according to an Israel National Employment Service (INES) report. 191,700 people were unemployed as May ended, compared to 192,800 in April, for a drop of 0.6%.

Unemployment is dropping more slowly than before, apparently due to the increase in the number of new workers entering the workforce. 19,400 new workers found jobs in May, an increase of 2.1% from April.

INES director Yossi Farhi said it was too early to draw conclusions regarding long-term employment trends due to changes in recent months. The government recently decided to end the Wisconsin Plan (also known as Mehalev or Orot Taasuka), and thousands of participants in the program began using government unemployment offices instead.

"In the upcoming months, if the numbers stabilize, we can more accurately say if trends really are changing,” said Farhi.

The INES received 27,000 requests for workers in May 2010, compared to 22,400 in May 2009.  Approximately half of the employers who turned to the INES were seeking unskilled laborers.