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Israeli unemployment rate dips slightly but still well above pre-pandemic level

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Israel’s overall unemployment rate dipped slightly last month, but remains high compared to pre-COVID-19 levels, according to a new report released on Sunday by the Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS).

The overall unemployment rate stood at 7.8 percent in the second half of August 2021, down slightly from 8.1% in the first half of the month. This figure 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.

A total of 333,500 people were either unemployed or on unpaid leave due to COVID-19 in the second half of August, according to the CBS, down from 349,600 in the first half of the month.

The unemployment rate, excluding those affected by the pandemic, stood at 5.6%, up from 5.3% in the first half of August.

Before the pandemic, an estimated 150,000 Israelis, or 3.5%, were unemployed.

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett welcomed the new figures on Sunday and appeared to link them to a broader government decision to avoid another lockdown. Israel remains largely open, with some restrictions, amid a fourth........

© The Times of Israel

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