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An estimated 130,000 Israelis will be dismissed from their jobs between now and the end of 2009, the director of the Israel Employment Service said Wednesday.

Yossi Farhi told the Knesset Finance Committee that an estimated 100,000 Israelis had already been dismissed from their jobs in the past six months, adding that 300,000 people would be looking for work by the end of the year if current predictions materialize.

"Every unemployed person leads to a decrease in buying power and demand. These things create further waves of dismissals. In the last five months we have seen a trend of 20,000 workers being dismissed each month," Farhi said.

Speaking at the same meeting, Histadrut Chairman Ofer Eini criticized the government for dealing more with budgetary matters than with the financial crisis.

"I am not certain that the finance ministry has absorbed the fact that it needs to balance the state budget with an economic program as a solution to the financial crisis," Eini said.