Business in Brief

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Applications for government jobs more than doubled between 2006 and 2012

The number of people applying for government jobs shot up 136% between 2006 and 2012, while the number of tenders for workers increased only 80%, according to a Civil Service Commission report. Some 17,921 people applied for government jobs in 2006; in 2012, the figure was 42,461. Government ministries employ a total of 67,000 people. The increase may be an indication of a worsening employment market. “People feel much more secure in their jobs in the public sector,” said Yuval Rachlevsky, a former Finance Ministry wage director. ‏(Haim Bior‏)

Report: Car repairs got slightly more expensive

The average car repair got more expensive this year, after the price had decreased for several years running, according to Gamma Management and Clearing. In the first six months of 2013, the average repair cost NIS 1,022, the company reported. This is a 2% increase over the parallel period in 2012. Previously, the average cost of repairs had dropped from NIS 1,132 in 2008 to NIS 1,006 in 2012, the company found. Industry sources said the 2% increase was nothing more than statistical error, and that prices are still dropping. On the other hand, it could also be evidence that plans to bring competition into the car repair market still haven’t gone into effect. ‏(Daniel Schmil‏)

Zim’s crisis with bondholders escalates

The crisis between Zim Integrated Shipping Services and its bondholders intensified yesterday, as the bondholders’ representatives rejected an offer to meet with representatives of the foreign banks. Zim, a subsidiary of Idan Ofer’s Israel Corporation, owes $391 million to its bondholders and another $1.5 billion to foreign banks and other financing institutions, according to the bondholders’ representatives. The bondholders are upset that Zim missed a $25 million payment earlier this month. ‏(Yoram Gabison‏)

D&B: Foreign chains will control over 50%  of local fashion market in 15 years

International fashion chains will continue gaining ground in Israel and will seize more than 50% of the market over the next 15 years, while smaller chains vanish, discount stores flourish and prices decrease by about 10% within five years, Dun & Bradstreet forecasts. The fashion and clothing sector is expected to turn over NIS 12 billion this year, similar to the figure for 2012. D&B predicts the market will become even more competitive here, thanks to the growing presence of both international brands and discount chains. Within 15 years, it said, Israel will have a limited number of local players who control only 50% of the market. Currently, local brands, including Castro, Fox, Renuar, Honigman, Golf, Polgat, Crazy Line, Goldbary TNT, Timnoon and H&O, have 75% of the market, while foreign brands, including Celio, Diesel, Pull and Bear, H&M, Gap, Forever 21, American Eagle, Mango and Zara, have the remaining 25%. ‏(Ido Efrati‏)

Credit: Dreamstime