Photo Credit: Andrew McIntire / TPS
Israel Employment Center

Israel’s unemployment rate rose to 3.9 percent in November, after October’s record-low 3.4 percent figure, according to Israel’s Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS).

This month’s unemployment rate of 3.9 percent, while still very low, is the highest the country had seen since June, when the unemployment rate was 4.1 percent.

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However, the labor force participation rate for ages 15 and over in Israel improved in December from 60.7 percent to 61.2 percent.

The labor force participation among men is significantly higher than women, with 67.4 percent of men participating in the labor force, compared to only 60.1 percent among women.

The stark gender-gap in labor force participation may partially be attributed to the Arab sector, in which many women have traditionally refrained from participating in the workforce, reaching approximately 35 percent in labor force participation.

The gender gap in labor force participation would likely be more significant if it were not for strictly Orthodox (Haredi) men, who have also participated much less in the workforce, reaching a labor force participation rate of approximately 50 percent.

The special characteristics of these sectors have created a combination of low unemployment and relatively low labor force participation that is unique to Israel.

Employment in both sectors has improved significantly over the past decade. However, the improvement seems to have recently stagnated for Haredi men.

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