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Israel’s unemployment rate drops to its lowest since onset of COVID

Excluding those affected by pandemic, unemployment drops to 2.9%, the lowest it’s been in 50 years; the average monthly wage stands at NIS 12,052

Jerusalem's employment bureau (Yossi Zamir/Flash90)
Jerusalem's employment bureau (Yossi Zamir/Flash90)

Israel’s unemployment rate dropped slightly to 4.4 percent in April from 4.8% in March, the lowest it has been since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, according to data published Tuesday by the Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS).

A total of 186,100 Israelis were not working in April, according to CBS figures, compared to 227,200 in March. Before the pandemic, an estimated 150,000 Israelis were unemployed.

The overall rate includes people who were dismissed or whose workplaces have closed since March 2020 due to the pandemic, as well as those on unpaid leave who expect to return to their workplaces.

The rate excluding those affected by the pandemic stood at 2.9% in April, a 50-year low. Pre-pandemic levels stood at approximately 3.5%.

After a decrease at the end of January, the average wage bounced back in February to NIS 12,052 ($3,600) a month, similar to the data published at the end of 2021, according to a separate report by the CBS.

The sector that saw the highest boost in pay was the tech industry, where the average monthly wage rose to NIS 30,049 ($8,960), compared to NIS 27,310 ($8,140) in January.

As lockdown measures shuttered public venues in 2020, the number of people out of work in Israel skyrocketed, reaching over a million in April of that year — over 24% unemployment, the highest rate ever.

As Israel has in recent months exited its fifth wave of COVID-19 infections, most restrictions have been lifted, opening up the economy.

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