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May 26, 2014 1:18 pm

Israeli Unemployment Rate Falls to 5.6% in April, Among Lowest in OECD

avatar by Joshua Levitt

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Israel's 20 shekel bill. Photo: WikiCommons.

Israel's 20 shekel bill. Photo: WikiCommons.

Israel’s unemployment rate fell in April to 5.6%, from 5.7% in March and 5.9% at the beginning of 2014, and is now one of the lowest rates in the OECD, according to Globes business daily on Monday.

Globes said the data released on Monday by Israel’s Central Bureau of Statistics “indicate that unemployment is falling without affecting the rate of participation in the workforce, which continues to be fairly high, at 64%.”

Core unemployment – unemployed people aged 25-64 excluding career army personnel and students – remains almost unchanged at 5.2%. The rate of participation in the workforce of people in the 25-64 age group was 80% in April. The rate of people in full-time employment is almost unchanged, at 77%, it said.

On Sunday, Fitch Ratings affirmed Israel’s Long-term foreign and local currency Issuer Default Ratings at ‘A’ and ‘A+’, respectively, noting structural reform in the Israeli labor market. Fitch said rising labor force participation from ultra-orthodox men and Arab women, partly in response to government initiatives, is holding down wage inflation, adding that in both areas there is significant scope for further progress.

In March, S&P confirmed its rating for Israel at A+ with a positive outlook.

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