One-in-five Israeli businesses set to fail thanks to coronavirus lockdown

Written by on August 30, 2020

11.5% of Israel’s workforce have been put out of work since the lockdown began in March.

“Profession for a Lifetime” was the first employment conference of its kind

(photo credit: ITZIK BELNITSKY/MINISTRY OF DEFENSE)

A fifth of Israeli businesses are not expected to survive into 2021 thanks to the coronavirus lockdown, a new report published by Israel’s Central Bureau of Statistics has found.

In mid-August, the bureau warned that Israel had entered a deep recession due to the lockdown, with a drop in GDP of 28.7% in the second quarter of 2020, according to i24 News.

The latest report details what that means for businesses and workers. Some 79% of businesses have seen a sharp decrease in revenue, amounting to a 25% loss in August alone.

These figures have had a consequential effect on employment levels. Some 11.5% of Israel’s workforce have been put out of work since the lockdown began in March, with another 6.4% of the workforce currently laid off.

Nearly a fifth of those currently furloughed due to the coronavirus (18.7%), don’t want to return to work due to downgraded employment conditions, Israel Hayom reported.

Going in to the pandemic lockdown, Israel’s unemployment rate had been a mere 3.9%. However, this skyrocketed to more than a quarter of the workforce (27.5%) at the height of the crisis.

The numbers have started to stabilize, but the latest report shows that 850,000 are currently unemployed, with that number expected to rise. Israel’s Employment Service is currently predicting that the unemployment rate will rise to 12% by the year’s end, i24 reported, or about half a million people.

This estimate is three times higher than the predictions made before the coronavirus lockdown, and would likely be pushed higher still by a second lockdown.


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