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Unemployment fell to a 24-year low in the second quarter of 2008, says the Central Bureau of Statistics. The last time only 5.9% of the civilian workforce was out of a job was in 1984. Finance Ministry director general Yarom Ariav counseled against sanguinity, however: The uncertainties in the marketplace remain intense, he warned.

In the first quarter, unemployment had been running at 6.1%, the bureau says, but about 9,000 people found work, reducing the number of jobless to 174,300.

If the figures are analyzed by gender, we find that 5.7% of men were unemployed, compared with 6.2% of women in the second quarter. Compared with the figures for the previous quarter, the rate dropped more among women: In the first quarter, 5.9% of men and 6.9% of women had been unemployed.

The highest rate of workforce participation is in central Israel, where 62.7% of adults have work. For Tel Aviv alone the figure is 60.6%. Unemployment (defined as actively seeking work) in Tel Aviv was only 4.3%, the bureau reports.