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March 19, 2020 11:14 am

96,000 Israelis Registered for Unemployment in Just 14 Hours

avatar by Shahar Ilan / CTech

Israeli election monitors wearing protective gear count votes cast by Israelis in home-quarantine over coronavirus concerns following Israel’s national election, in Shoham, Israel, March 4, 2020. Photo: Reuters / Ronen Zvulun.

CTech – Since coronavirus (Covid-19) hit Israel’s economy at the beginning of March, 330,000 Israelis registered for unemployment, 13-times the number of people who registered in February, which saw 26,000 people register, according to government data.

Of the newly unemployed, 86% have been put on unpaid leave, 9% have been laid off, and 2% quit of their own volition. Over half, or 53%, of those who registered this month are male, while, routinely, women outnumber men among the unemployed.

Much like the global rate of infection, the number of people registering for unemployment has been growing exponentially. If on the first 12 hours of Wednesday, 5,000 people registered every hour, last night this number jumped to nearly 7,000 people an hour, or 96,000 people in just 14 hours, the data shows.

In a Wednesday press briefing, Meir Spiegler, director-general of Bituah Leumi, Israel’s national social security agency, said that due to the crisis, the country intends to increase the eligibility period for unemployment, which currently stands between two and six months.

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