Number of unemployed Israelis nears a million during latest lockdown

The Employment Service announces that over 260,000 people have been added to the unemployment rolls since September 17, a day before the start of a weeks-long lockdown that began to be lifted this morning.

There have been 261,624 new jobseekers who registered with the Employment Service since then, of whom 228,122 were placed on unpaid leave.

As of today, 980,370 Israelis in total are unemployed — almost a quarter of the workforce, which numbers some 4 million — including 628,344 who are furloughed.

During the first outbreak of the virus, in the spring, the unemployment figures issued by the service spiked to over 23 percent, as 800,000 people quickly lost work in Israel’s initial lockdown.

As the outbreak subsided, some people were able to return to work, but later, with infections surging, the government imposed fresh restrictions and the joblessness rate has again spiked.

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