Unemployment in Israel reached a record low of 5.5 percent in November, according to the Central Bureau of Statistics report published on Tuesday.
Bank of Israel Governor Karnit Flug – Photo: Dudi Vaaknin
The plunge in the unemployment rate means there are currently 204,000 jobless Israelis, down by 11,000 in a single month. The unemployment rate has fallen by 1.4 percent from 6.9% midway through last year.
However, the past year marked a growth of only 3.3% in Israel’s economy, less than the majority of Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development countries, but still higher than Bank of Israel predictions. The Tamar gas field, estimated to contribute 1% to the economy’s growth, did not bring additional growth.
Quality of life rose by 2% per capita in 2013, but did not affect the greater public, with per capita growth rising by only 1.4%. However, the overall gross domestic product surpassed a trillion shekels ($288 billion) for the first time — a record high.
Housing prices rose by 9.4% this past year, making a cumulative jump of 77.4% since 2008. Rent prices climbed as well, rising by an average of 17% since January 2011.
The forecasts for 2014 are not very encouraging, with the Bank of Israel and the Finance Ministry predicting a nominal growth of only 3% in what would be the first standstill since 2003. Unemployment is expected to rise to 6.9%, with an additional 50,000 Israelis left unemployed.
As of Jan. 1, public transportation is set to increase by 4.7%, 95-octane gasoline is to rise by 0.05 shekels to 7.45 shekels ($2.15) per liter, the lottery tax is set to jump by 5% to 30% of winnings over 50,000 shekels ($14,400) , property taxes are to go up by 3.4% on average and electricity costs are expected to rise by 5% in April.
However, the price of water is set to drop by 5%, the price of milk will fall by 0.13 shekels per liter, the price of state-subsidized dairy products will fall by 1.1%, and the prices of white cheese and sweet cream will fall by 20%.
View original Israel Hayom publication at: http://www.israelhayom.com/site/newsletter_article.php?id=14433