Prime Minister Ehud Olmert praised the Central Bureau of Statistics data (http://tinyurl.com/5gp8f9) that was released today, and which indicated that the percentage of unemployed persons is at its lowest in 20 years:
 
“The data, which shows that employment in Israel has reached a 20-year high, underscores what we know – the Government’s socio-economic policy has proven itself. Is helping the economy to grow and is reducing the social gaps in Israel.  The socio-economic agenda that the Government adopted a year ago, which includes benefits to encourage employment along with a correct allocation of Government assistance resources, has enabled more people to participate in the work cycle.  We also see the results of correct policies in additional areas such as the growth data for the Israeli economy – which have remained positive even as the global economy copes with a recession. 
 
The 2009 state budget was approved three days ago and one of the major struggles against those who opposed the budget was over the Government expenditure target.  Those who opposed the budget wished to breech the expenditure ceiling beyond the 1.7% annual increase.  Along with the Finance Ministry, I believed that this was incorrect, given the current global economic situation and its possible influences on Israel.  The growth in expenditures remained at 1.7%, which strengthens global confidence in the Israeli economy.”