Unemployment Down, Economy Up

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JERUSALEM, Israel - August statistics from the Israel Employment Service showed the lowest rate of unemployment in more than a year, while the Bank of Israel's composite index rose by 1.3 percent for the fourth consecutive month.

The employment bureau also reported a nearly 10 percent increase in job opportunities from July to August, with employers submitting 25,300 job requests.

"The increased demand for employees is primarily due to the recovery of economic activity in the market, as well as intensive actions taken by the employment service," said Director-General Yossi Farhi.

The Bank of Israel's composite index showed a 4.5 percent increase in exports during August, which followed a 2.5 percent increase in July. The increased exports factored into the overall rise in the composite index.

The Bank of Israel uses a broad spectrum of indices, including imports and exports, manufacturing, employment, domestic consumption, hi-tech and industrial production, to determine the state of the economy.

Meanwhile, the U.S. dollar continues its fall against the shekel, dropping 0.3 percent on Tuesday. With the exchange rate at 3.72 shekels to the dollar, Israeli exporters are exploring new ways of dealing with the continuing decline.

Sources: YNet news, Haaretz

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