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Increased Immigration Created Labor Shortage in Israel, Survey Shows

Israel’s recent immigration increases have created a labor shortage, instead of the feared unemployment, the Bank of Israel reported here in an economic survey issued today. In the current full-employment labor market, the survey showed, newcomers are not only absorbed readily, but their addition to the population creates higher demands for goods and services, thus causing a labor shortage.

One result of this trend, the bank stated, was that production for the domestic market had become more attractive than production for export. This fact, the bank warned, may defeat the Government’s aim to promote exports. The report advocated the imposition of higher taxes on large incomes and the application of certain monetary restraints.

Another report issued by the bank today, dealing with the structure of some 1,600 Israeli firms, showed that industrial enterprises doubled their “profitability” between the fiscal year 1956-57 and fiscal 1960-61. The bank reported its 1961 profits increased by 30 percent, as compared with the previous years. The bank’s personnel increased during the period by 13 percent, due chiefly to the opening of new branches.

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