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Nearly THIRD of Israelis on unemployment benefits refuse to return to work as economy reopens – survey — RT World News

About a third of people who receive unemployment checks in Israel don’t want to work again, the government data says. Many of them are happy to continue living off benefits even as the economy is reopening.

Around 20,000 people, which is nearly 30% of workers currently living off unemployment benefits, are refusing to return to work, the data from the Central Bureau of Statistics show.

Roughly 64% of those refusing to work again say they prefer to keep receiving unemployment checks.

Hundreds of thousands were forced to stop working due to extremely tough quarantine measures, with the number of unemployed rising to 560,000 shortly after a third nationwide lockdown came into effect in late December. The lockdown was eventually eased as the immunization campaign kicked in.

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Israel now boasts one of the highest vaccination rates in the world, and authorities have allowed most businesses to resume operations.

The Israeli Employment Service said last week that young people and low-income earners are choosing not to rejoin the workforce because the benefits they are getting are comparable to their salaries. The extension of the benefits until the end of June has transformed them from a safety net into a “barrier” preventing Israelis from working again, the agency’s head Rami Garor said.

Garor said the government needs a complex program that encourages employment, so that vulnerable segments of society could return to the workforce.

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