Israel’s unemployment rate tops 21 percent

Israel’s unemployment continued to climb rapidly amid the coronavirus crisis and as of Thursday evening 21.2 percent of workers in the country were out of a job.

Since the beginning of March, 723,028 people have been without work, 90% of them put on unpaid leave. In the past 24 hours 38,112 people have joined the ranks of the unemployed.

Prior to the coronavirus outbreak, unemployment in Israel was at a record low of under 4%. The total number of unemployed including those out of work prior to March now stands at 880,879.

Employment Service director general Rami Grauer said the service had already processed and handed over to the National Insurance Institute [the body that pays out the benefits] some 500,000 requests “so that the citizens of Israel will be able to receive the unemployment benefits they are entitled to as quickly as possible.