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June 16, 2020 11:52 am

New Stats Show Coronavirus Pandemic’s Massive Negative Impact on Israeli Economy

avatar by Benjamin Kerstein

Customers visit a nail salon, in Tel Aviv, Israel, June 4, 2020. Photo: Reuters / Amir Cohen.

New statistics from the Israeli Employment Service released Tuesday revealed the massive negative impact of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic on the Jewish state’s economy, with minorities and low-wage workers hit particularly hard.

Israeli news site N12 reported that, according to the numbers, 23.5% of Israelis were seeking employment by the end of May. In February, just before the pandemic struck, the number was 3.9%.

The Employment Service stated that the sudden shift from near-full employment to record unemployment rates would decrease workers’ bargaining power, depress wages and increase underemployment, especially among low-wage workers.

Israel’s minority communities have been particularly hard-hit by the pandemic. While 20.7% of Jews have been able to return to work, only 9.2% of Muslims, Christians and Druze had succeeded in doing so.

Moreover, the small rate of recovery appeared not to include low-wage workers. The professional sectors that have seen a high rate of return to work were medical (27.7%), finance (26.7%) and education (25.2%), all relatively high-paying.

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