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The demand for workers rose 9 percent last year compared to 2004, according to Manpower Israel's annual survey published yesterday. The figures are based on the number of "want ads" published in newspapers.

Despite the increase, demand in Q4 2005 was 15 percent lower than the previous quarter and 4 percent lower than in the parallel due to the fact that the holidays fell in October last year.

Manpower Israel CEO Dalia Narkis said the demand for workers peaked in 2000, after which there were severe drops in 2001-2 followed by stabilized demand in 2003. Since then, growth in demand has paralleled the country's economic growth.

Demand in the computer and communications sector grew by 19 percent last year, still far below that in 2000, while demand for service and commercial workers grew 18 percent.

All professions recorded higher demand with the exception of vehicle maintenance, which dropped by 15 percent.

Junior managers in the service sector, as well as tourism and hotel employees, recorded the most significant rise. Lawyers accountants, nurses and other para-medical professions, and teachers also showed strong growth.