Israel sees over 657,000 unemployed amid COVID-19 lockdown

JERUSALEM, Jan. 18 (Xinhua) -- The number of unemployed people in Israel rose to over 657,000, according to data issued by the Central Bureau of Statistics and the Israeli Employment Service on Monday.

This is an increase compared to about 523,000 unemployed in Israel recorded in December 27, 2020 when the ongoing full COVID-19 lockdown took effect.

The current figure raised the unemployment rate in Israel to 15.9 percent, compared to 12.7 percent at the beginning of the lockdown.

In mid-October 2020, amid a previous lockdown, Israel's unemployment rate stood at 22.7 percent, with 938,000 unemployed people.

Earlier in 2020, a peak of 27.5 percent was recorded at the end of April with more than 1 million unemployed people.

The unemployment rate in the country stood at 3.9 percent before the pandemic outbreak last February in Israel.

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