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In Umm al-Fahm and Nazareth, nearly one-quarter of residents are unemployed

Unemployment rates in Arab cities and towns are the highest in Israel, reaching 22.4% in Umm al-Fahm, 22% in Nazareth, and 19% in Rahat, according to the Employment Service.

Eight out of 10 of the cities with the highest jobless rates are either majority Arab or ultra-Orthodox or, like Acre and Jerusalem, have sizable Arab and Haredi populations, the service notes. The other two cities — Tiberias and Eilat — are tourist destinations that were hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic.

According to the service, in May, for the first time since the start of the pandemic, the number of officially unemployed surpassed the workers on furlough. At the end of May, 522,600 Israelis were collecting unemployment benefits — 45 percent furloughed and 55% unemployed. Many of those benefits are set to end at the end of the month.

Israelis sit a cafe in Jerusalem’s city center on April 21, 2021. (Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90)

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