Nearly One Million Unemployed

As of Sunday, October 18, a total of 980,370 workers in Israel were unemployed — almost a quarter of the workforce, which numbers some 4 million, including 628,344 who have been furloughed and are still not back at their workplaces.


An Employment Service report said that during September, women and young people were more likely to file for unemployment even at rates higher than during the first lockdown period at the start of the epidemic in Israel in March. The rate of unemployment in the youngest age group (up to age 24) jumped from 17.1% in March to 20.5% in September – the highest figure for this group since the beginning of the COVID-19 economic crisis.

COVID-19 testing station

COVID-19 testing station (Photo: Magen David Adom)

During the first outbreak of the virus in the spring, the unemployment figures issued by the service spiked as 800,000 people quickly lost work during Israel’s initial lockdown.

The Employment Service announced that 261,624 new jobseekers were added to the unemployment rolls over the past month — since the Jewish holiday of Rosh Hashanah and the start of the national lockdown that was partially lifted on Sunday. Among these, 188,101 were registering as unemployed for at least the second time since the start of the spread of the coronavirus in Israel in March.