Unemployment in Israel continues to rise, reaching 7.2 percent in June - up 0.1%. Figures released by the Central Bureau of Statistics show that 259,400 Israelis were unemployed in June, a three-year high.
There has been a 9.5% increase in unemployment since February of this year, and unemployment is expected to continue to rise. The increase is linked to the fall in private consumption and in production as local demand falls, as well as the continuing financial crisis in Europe – Israel's biggest trading partner.
In January, the CBS changed the way it measures unemployment to bring it in line with the OECD standards. The new system took into account the 18 to 22-year-old Israelis who were completing their mandatory military service. This meant a 1.3% increase in unemployment, with 43,200 additional job-seekers added to the figures.
Israel's unemployment rate is still relatively good, compared to the 17 members of the Euro zone. Comparative figures compiled by the Knesset and the CBS show that Israel has 7.2 unemployed people per 100 citizens, compared to an average of 11.2 in the Euro zone. The situation in Spain is particularly bleak, with 24.8 jobseekers for every 100 residents.
Only three Euro countries have lower unemployment than Israel: Austria where 4.5 people are unemployed per 100 citizens; the Netherlands with 5.1 unemployed per 100 and Germany with 5.4 people unemployed out of every 100.