Israel's Unemployment Rate Drops to 3.7%, Part-time Jobs on the Rise

The Central Bureau of Statistics reports January unemployment figure fell to a historic low

FILE PHOTO: Workers protest outside the Teva Pharmaceutical Industries factory as to block a main road in Jerusalem, December 17, 2017.
Ariel Schalit/AP

The unemployment rate in Israel continued to drop in January, falling to a historic low level of 3.7%, the Central Bureau of Statistics reported Wednesday. One factor in the drop, however, was the increase in the number of people working part-time rather than full-time, part-time positions that generally also tend to pay less.

Among males 15 years of age or older, the rate fell to 3.5% in January from 3.8% in December. Among female members of the workforce, January’s figure was 3.9%, following a December rate of 4.2%. The jobless rate is based on a statistics bureau survey showing that in January, the country had a workforce of 4.01 million people 15-years-old or more, of whom about 148,000 were not working.

Among those who were employed, 2.04 million were men and 1.82 million women. The figures also showed slightly more men working in January than December, but slightly fewer women.

Full-time jobs, for purposes of the employment statistics, are jobs involving 35 hours a week or more of employment. The number of full-time workers decreased by 17,000 in January from December, or 0.6%, while the number of part-time workers increased by 1.3% or 11,000 workers. Overall, the percentage of full-time workers fell to 77.6% in January. Among men, the figure was 86.5% while among women, it was 67.6%.