The jobless rate among Israelis 15 and over crept up to 6.4% in the third quarter from 6.1% in the second, the Central Bureau of Statistics reported on Thursday. This boosted the number of unemployed by 11,000 people to 246,000.
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The unemployment rate edged higher in every region of the country. In the Jerusalem area, it was 8.5% in the third quarter compared with 8.1% in the second. In the Haifa area, these numbers were 6.4% and 5.8%, respectively; in the northern district, which covers the rest of the north, they were 7.9% and 7.2%.
In the Tel Aviv area, the number rose to 6% from 5.8%, while elsewhere in the center of the country it increased to 5.0% from 4.8%. In the south, it increased to 7.3% from 7.2%.
Nationally, unemployment is expected to rise further next year due to a slower economy and Israel’s possible slide into deflation, in which overall prices fall.
In the third quarter, nearly 3.6 million Israelis were employed, including roughly 1.9 million men and 1.7 million women. Among those in their prime employment years, between the ages of 25 and 64, the jobless rates among men and women were 5.4% and 5.1%, respectively.
On the bright side, the rate of those who were seeking full-time employment — at least 35 hours weekly — but could only find part-time employment declined by 12.8% to 106,000 from the second quarter.