JERUSALEM — The chemical industry in Israel is hiring at a rate that is well above the rest of the country and well above what it was in the 1970s and 1980s, according to a new report by the United States-based International Labor Organization (ILO).
The number of Israeli workers employed in chemical, metal, and plastic manufacturing rose in 2015 from 534,000 to 639,000, according the report, which is based on data from a comprehensive survey of chemical industry jobs from 2005 to 2015.
This was a record-high year for Israeli manufacturing.
The report shows that Israel’s chemical industry had a net loss of 2.5 million jobs in 2015.
That was the second-highest loss of jobs for the chemical industry after the U.S. dropped 8.5 percent in the same year.
Israel’s economy grew by 5.5% in 2015, compared with an annual average of 2% growth of the rest.
“While the manufacturing sector in Israel remains robust, the overall economy remains depressed, and we have seen the worst economic downturn in the world,” said Daniela Gantz, the ILO’s director of research.
In the last decade, Israel’s industrial sector has experienced a series of major job losses and was hit hard by the global financial crisis.
The number of jobs lost in the industrial sector decreased from 1.3 million in 2007 to 1.1 million in 2015 before climbing back to 1 million in 2017.
Gantz also said that Israel experienced a sharp decline in the number of young people entering the country, due to an increased emphasis on vocational education in the education system.
As a result, the number and proportion of job vacancies increased significantly, with some areas of Israel experiencing more vacancies than others.
One of the most important findings in the report is that the percentage of Israelis who are employed in the chemical, metals, and plastics industries declined sharply in 2015 compared with the previous year.
About 40% of Israelis surveyed in the survey said they had been employed in those industries in 2015 as compared with 35% in 2014.
It is the first time in a decade that Israel has reported an annual decline in employment.
The percentage of jobs in the manufacturing and chemicals sectors also fell in 2015 to 30.5%.