Israel will strive to push unemployment below four percent, Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon said after the Central Bureau of Statistics published the latest unemployment figures, which hit a low of 4.1 percent Monday evening, down from 4.3 percent last month.
The figure is the lowest since records began in 1995. According to the CBS figures, the total number of people in the labor force age 15 and up was four million, with 3.836 million employed and approximately 164,000 unemployed.
The participation rate in the labor force among people ages 25-64 rose to 80.1 percent compared with 79.8 percent in June. Among males ages 25-64 the participation rate remained stable at 84.9 percent, and among women in the same age group the rate rose to 75.4 percent, up from 74.7 percent in June.
“The unemployment rate of 4.1 percent is among the lowest that we have seen in decades and this is the result of actions we have taken,” Kahlon said.
“We have encouraged people with low salaries to go out to work and we have invested in factories, in companies, in hi-tech, in creating jobs.”
The Finance Minister described the figures as good news both socially and economically. “I wouldn’t like to see a reality where a husband or wife gets up in the morning and they don’t have a job to go to…. These are figures that lift people out of poverty and that is a top priority for us. A couple that goes out to work pays taxes, consumes and drives the wheels of the economy.
“We have a strong economy with low unemployment, but we are still fighting to push the figure below four percent even though four percent is an amazing figure that we haven’t seen in decades.”