Israel’s monthly unemployment rate remained steady at 6.8 percent in September, unchanged from August’s rate, according to figures released by the Central Bureau of Statistics on Wednesday. The steadying of the rate, which had climbed from 6.5% in July, is a good sign for the economy's stability.
According to the report, the overall unemployment rate for the third quarter was 6.7%, down by 0.2% from the second quarter’s 6.9%. This translates to 249,100 unemployed.
The steady rate in August and September was especially encouraging in light of the economic situation in Europe. In the euro-zone, unemployment hit a record high of 11.6% in September, after reaching 11.5% in August. The unemployment rate in the EU reached 10.6%. The highest rate of unemployment was in Spain at 25.8%, followed by Greece, with 25.1%.
Despite the encouraging signs, Israeli manufacturers have warned that by the end of 2012, 32,000 more people will enter the cycle of unemployment, potentially raising the unemployment rate to 7.7.%.
The report revealed that the employment rate rose to 59.8% in the third quarter from 59.2% in the second quarter. The number of full-time employees decreased by 2% in the second quarter, while the number of part-time workers jumped by 11.5%.
Based on the data, Israel currently leads the Western world in new job creation. In the third quarter, 51,000 new jobs were created. Over the past three years, 340,000 new jobs have been created, the highest rate of job creation in proportion to population in the Western world.