The demand for workers in January 2006 was 6 percent higher than in January 2005, according to a survey by Manpower Israel based on newspaper help-wanted ads. Yesterday, Manpower Israel CEO Dalia Narkiss put down the moderate increase to a slowdown in economic growth.

Nevertheless, she expects demand to continue for accountants, attorneys and investment experts, as well as for skilled factory workers and for electronics, engineering and machine technicians.

Narkiss also noted an increased demand for construction and civil engineers, secretaries and workers in the hotel and restaurant industry.

Narkiss said that demand had risen in January for financial and pension advisers as a result of the implementation of the Bachar Commission's recommendations on reforming the country's capital market. She also said that more people were taking vocational courses in these field.

While demand rose in January for factory production workers, metalworkers and nonspecified industrial employees, as well as for people with academic, management and engineering degrees, demand dropped for positions in sales and marketing and in trade and services.

The demand for computer professionals rose by 26.6 percent in January 2006, compared to January 2005, and by 0.6 percent compared to December 2005.

The demand for manufacturing, industry and metalworkers increased by 21 percent in January 2006 over the equivalent month in 2005, and by 12 percent against December 2005. Most of the increase in demand was for workers in printing, production, unskilled manufacturing, warehouse workers and heavy equipment operators.

The demand for university graduates rose by 13 percent.