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November 29, 1991 - Image 161

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1991-11-29

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

Faces Cabinet

Jeruslaem (JTA) — As
hundreds of jobless demon-
strated last weekend outside
the Prime Minister's Office,
the Israeli Cabinet heard
alarming reports about the
rapid rise of unemployment
in Israel and the conse-
quences it is already having
for aliyah. -
Menahem Porush, the
deputy minister of labor and
welfare, urged the govern-
ment to take drastic mea-
sures immediately or face
record unemployment of
250,000 next year.
Mr. Porush told the
Cabinet that he has reports
of children scavenging for
food in garbage cans and
children "chewing nylon
sheets instead of food" in the
development town of Netivot
in southern Israel.
But by the end of a six-
hour session devoted to the
unemployment problem, the
Cabinet had agreed to only
one of several corrective
measures proposed by the
deputy minister -- doubling
the number of persons eli-
gible for vocational retrain-
It will be raised from
60,000 to 120,000. But that
is unlikely to have an im-
pact, considering that only
40,000 trainees have taken
advantage of the program to
Absorption Minister Yit-
zhak Peretz said rising
unemployment was respon-
sible for the sharp drop in
immigration, which fell from
a high of 20,500 in June to
the some 7,000 to 8,000 ex-
pected this month.
According to the latest fig-
ures, 145,000 Israelis are
currently seeking work. The
Labor and Welfare Ministry
predicts 200,000 idle by the
end of this year and 250,000
by the end of 1992.
Unemployment is now
running at an annual rate of
about 11 percent.
The paradox is that
employment increased by 6
percent in the past year, at-
tributable to incentives
given the private sector. But
the rise cannot keep pace
with mass aliyah, which has
swollen the number of im-
migrants unable to find
The Cabinet decided to
continue the discussion at its
next session. It is expected to
consider other proposals by
Porush, including the expul-
sion of foreign workers.
Meanwhile, the demon-
strators outside accused the
ministers of incompetent
handling of the jobless crisis.

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