In October, amid the backdrop of the ongoing conflict, Israel experienced a significant decline in the number of vacant job positions within its economy. The data, as reported by the Central Bureau of Statistics, indicates that there was an 18% decrease in vacant jobs, dropping from 114.3 thousand in September to 93.4 thousand in October, when considering seasonally adjusted figures. Notably, this marked the lowest point in job vacancies since February 2021 when there were 85.8 thousand vacancies, coinciding with the end of the third COVID lockdown. This decline also put an end to nearly three years during which job vacancies remained notably higher than the pre-coronavirus crisis level of approximately one hundred thousand.

In addition to the reduction in the number of job openings, the vacancy rate for all jobs across the Israeli economy, including both occupied and vacant positions, also saw a decrease. The rate dropped from 3.64% in September to 3.17% in October, marking a 13% decrease. This rate hasn't been this low since January 2021 when it stood at 2.88%. The decline in the vacancy rate can be attributed, in part, to a decrease in the number of people employed due to the ongoing conflict.

One noteworthy trend that emerged during this period was the substantial increase in demand for construction workers. Demand surged by 47%, rising from an average of 2,400 workers in the months from July to September 2023 to 3,500 workers in the months from August to October 2023, which included the first month of the conflict. The National Insurance Institute attributes this increase to a shortage of foreign workers. Moreover, there was a 9% increase in demand for specialized construction workers such as plasterers and skeleton workers. Conversely, the food and beverage industry experienced the largest decreases in demand, with a 28% drop in demand for waitstaff and bartenders, as well as a 24% decrease in demand for cooks. It's important to note that these figures are monthly averages that encompass the war-affected October, suggesting that the actual impact may be more pronounced.

As the conflict persisted, the number of individuals newly unemployed and seeking assistance from the National Insurance Institute continued to rise. At the end of the previous week, the total number of newly unemployed individuals since the start of the conflict reached 128,600, with 96,100 of them being placed on forced sick leave. However, there appears to be a somewhat slower daily growth rate in these figures. Since the beginning of November, 79,800 newly unemployed individuals applied for unemployment benefits, with 66.1 thousand on forced leave. This compares to 48.8 thousand in the month of October, covering the period from the onset of the conflict to its conclusion. This data is based on the most recent unemployment statistics released by the National Insurance Institute.

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