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More than 24,000 job listings were posted at government employment offices during the month of March, according to new data published Monday by the Israel Employment Service.

These figures reflect a 15.9 percent increase compared with February 2009 ? in which fewer than 21,000 employment listings were recorded ? and a 6.1 percent increase compared with March of last year.

Yossi Farhi, director of the Israel Employment Service, said the spike in March employment demand was due to two main factors: The need for temporary sales and service workers during the Passover holiday and intensified outreach to employers on the part of Employment Service workers.

In contrast to the rest of the country, fewer jobs were posted in the north compared with last year, mainly due to the closure of factories in the area.