The impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the Israeli economy
27 March 2020 - The jerusalem post
Lockdowns mean skyrocketing unemployment and reduced GDP, leaving no household or business unscathed. Unemployment exceeded 20% for the first time this evening.
The coronavirus pandemic, deemed to have its origins in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China, is having far-reaching social and economic consequences on a global scale. Nearly $30 trillion were wiped off global stocks in just two months (January 20-March 19).
Dr. Ohad Shaked, head of the ICT specialization in the Technology Marketing Department at Sapir College, told The Media Line that "no household or business is left unscathed by the pandemic."
The financial impact is a result of strict measures taken by governments around the world to contain the infection, mainly in the form of partial or complete lockdowns, forcing many businesses to shut down. These measures of containment, while necessary, have put millions of employees around the world out of work.
According to the International Labor Organization, over 24 million employees are expected to lose their jobs as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
As of March 23, 2020, nearly 80 countries have turned to the International Monetary Fund for monetary assistance. The organization projects the coronavirus pandemic will lead to a global recession similar to or worse than that of the Great Financial Crisis of 2007-2008.
Israel has followed suit and taken drastic steps to contain the infection in the country. As of March 24, 2020, the economy is in partial lockdown and since Israel initially imposed restrictions on the public on March 11, "the unemployment rate skyrocketed," jumping from 4% to 20.12%, "putting an unprecedented number of Israelis out of work" says Shaked. According to official reports, over 837,000 Israelis are out of work as of March 25 and the number is expected to reach a mind-boggling 1,000,000 by next month.
"We are still seeing lower numbers of new job seekers compared to the highs of last week, but we are not fooling ourselves," said Employment Service director-general Rami Garor on Wednesday.