In thousands of homes the joy on Rosh Hashanah will be replaced this year by worry and uncertainty

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by Ifi Reporter Category:Government Aug 22, 2020

In tens of thousands of homes in Israel, the joy of the holidays on Rosh Hashanah and Sukkot will be replaced this year by worry and feelings of uncertainty against the background of the economic distress caused by the corona crisis. A dive into the economic data paints a gloomy and sad picture of the situation of a large part of Israelis about a month before Rosh Hashanah.
Nearly a million employees and the self-employed have lost their jobs, business owners who lose money even when the store and business are open, and tens of thousands staying in isolation, some of whom are sick in Corona or recovering from it.
It is not "only" about one million citizens out of nine million and a quarter Israelis, but families numbering, it is estimated, about four million people from the country. If we add to these only part of the 1.78 million poor measured in Israel in 2018, according to the latest existing poverty report - then at least half of the citizens of Israel will come to the holidays in real economic distress.
As mentioned, there is still no data on the extent of poverty in Israel after half a year of the corona epidemic, but data from the report from two years ago, compared to the support given to the poor and unemployed in recent months, can teach the poverty line.
National Insurance data published this week show that the average payment for the unemployed in July was NIS 4,452, while in June it was NIS 3,788. This is when the minimum wage in the economy today stands at NIS 5,300 - about 20% higher than the average unemployment benefit. However, the poverty line for an individual in 2018 was NIS 3,593 and for a couple NIS 5,750. The poverty line of a family of six was NIS 12,218. So you can see how close the average unemployment benefits are to the definition of poor in Israel. In the same year, about 469,000 families lived in Israel in conditions of poverty, some of them severe poverty, 18% of the families in Israel, while the per capita poverty was 21.2% of the country's citizens. And when there is an average - there are also many who are below it, that the holidays will probably come much poorer and without a tidy workplace.
Those who have been added to the poor in Israel in the last two years are, sadly, mainly the elderly. The old-age pension cost more than six shekels more than a year and a half ago. At the end of 2019, when the poverty report was published by the Social Security, it was explained that there was an increase in the poverty rate of the elderly, both due to an improvement in the general standard of living, which raised the poverty line by 4.1%, and due to the minimal increase in Social Security benefits. Only 0.3%, being CPI-linked.
Another important statistic, which probably worsened in the corona year, is the so-called "depth of poverty." That is, how far a citizen is in his income from the poverty line. Two years ago, thousands of families defined as almost poor approached the poverty line. It can be estimated with a high degree of certainty that some of them slipped below the poverty line during the Corona crisis, when the breadwinners in the families were fired or taken on unpaid leave. The Minister of Welfare, Itzik Shmuli, has already submitted data indicating that many families are falling below the poverty line, and he says that these are some of the middle-class families.
Since the beginning of the Corona crisis, in mid-March, about 982,000 applications for unemployment benefits have been submitted, 93% of which have been approved, of which about 893,000 are eligible. In addition, about 993,000 citizens were entitled to unemployment benefits - 893,000 during the Corona period, 99,000 of whom were unemployed before the Corona crisis. This means that the number of recipients of unemployment benefits - instead of full pay - has jumped about nine times.
Since the opening of the closure when it was first possible to open street shops on April 19, close to 200,000 new applications for unemployment have been added. According to the National Insurance Institute, about 510,000 citizens have not returned to the labor market since the beginning of the Corona crisis.
Since the closure on April 19, nearly 200,000 new unemployment applications have been added. According to the National Insurance Institute, since the beginning of the Corona crisis, some 510,000 citizens have not yet returned to the labor market
Another serious figure from the National Insurance Institute reveals how long the meager payment of unemployment benefits is prolonged for some of the unemployed: 306,000 unemployed have not been in the labor market for more than 21 weeks, which is about five months, and they actually become those on unpaid unpaid vacations. With a lower chance of returning to work.
A survey conducted by the Economics Division of the Association of Chambers of Commerce based on an analysis of previous years, shows that in the period leading up to the Tishrei holidays there was an average increase of about 7% in total sales of the retail chains during the holidays, compared to the previous month.
The distribution into sub-industries shows that in the years 2003-2018 there was an average increase of about 8.4% in food sales in the month of the holidays, compared to a decrease of 8.1% in the month after the holiday. Sales of durable goods, such as electrical appliances and home furniture, recorded an average increase of 4.7% in the holiday month compared with the previous month. On the other hand, there was a decrease of about 21.1% in sales in the month following the holiday period.
Footwear sales rose by an average of 2.9% in the holiday month, compared with a decrease of 12.3% in the following month. Textile and clothing sales rose by an average of 8.4% in the holiday month, compared with a decrease of 6% in the following month. Household and kitchen sales increased the most noticeable increase of about 72.9% on average, compared to a decrease of about 11.8% on average, in the month after the holidays.
It is estimated that the difficult economic situation of so many will lead to a decline in food and product purchases ahead of the holidays. Buying gifts will probably also be considered a luxury among a significant number of Israelis. Travel abroad will not be (almost) and against the background of the scenario to close during the holidays and the fear of quite a few Israelis to stay in hotels during the Corona period and spend time in restaurants - there is an estimate that there will be a decline in these areas as well.
Since the opening of the closure when it was first possible to open street shops on April 19, close to 200,000 new applications for unemployment have been added. According to the National Insurance Institute, about 510,000 citizens have not returned to the labor market since the beginning of the Corona crisis.
Since the closure on April 19, nearly 200,000 new unemployment applications have been added. According to the National Insurance Institute, since the beginning of the Corona crisis, some 510,000 citizens have not yet returned to the labor market
Another serious figure from the National Insurance Institute reveals how long the meager payment of unemployment benefits is prolonged for some of the unemployed: 306,000 unemployed are not in the labor market already from

 

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