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PCBS: Unemployment in Palestine up in 2018 on International Labor Day

April 30, 2019 2:32 P.M. (Updated: May 1, 2019 12:53 P.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- The unemployment rate in Palestine increased in 2018 to reach about 31% of the labor force participants compared with about 28% in 2017, where the number of unemployed individuals increased from 377,000 in 2017 to 426,000 in 2018, said the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS) marking International Labor Day.

PCBS said the unemployment rate slightly decreased in the West Bank compared with a noticeably high increase in the Gaza Strip thus bringing up the overall unemployment rate in Palestine in 2018 to 31%. Unemployment rate was about 18% in the West Bank in 2018 compared with about 19% in 2017, while the unemployment rate was about 52% in Gaza Strip in 2018 compared with 44% in 2017.

PCBS confirmed that Jenin and the Bethlehem districts registered the highest unemployment in the West Bank with a rate of about 21%, followed by Hebron district with a rate of about 20%, while the lowest rate in the West Bank was in Qalqiliya district with a rate of about 7% followed by Jerusalem district with a rate of 11%.

In the besieged Gaza Strip, the Khan Younis district registered the highest unemployment rate with about 58% followed by Deir al-Balah with a rate of about 57%, while the lowest rate was in Gaza City with a rate of about 48%.

The highest unemployment rate was recorded among youth 19 to 29 years of age, which reached about 44% (27% in the West Bank and 69% in Gaza Strip). The young graduates are the most subgroup suffering from unemployment with a rate of about 58% (40% in the West Bank and 78% in Gaza Strip).

As for specialization, the youth graduates who hold associate diploma certificate and above who specialized in Education Science and Teacher Rehabilitation recorded the highest unemployment rate of about 76% followed by the specialization of Mass Media and Information with a rate of about 69%, while the specialization in Law recorded the lowest unemployment rate with a rate of about 29%.

In addition, 35% of individuals in the age group 15 years and above with disabilities who are participants of labor force are unemployed.

The number of employed Palestinians was 954,000 (573,000 in the West Bank, 254,000 in Gaza Strip, and 127,000 in Israel and Israeli settlements). There are 665,000 wage employees in Palestine, 353,000 of them in the West Bank, 198,000 in Gaza Strip, 93,000 in Israel, and 21,000 in the Israeli settlements.

The number of wage employees in the private sector reached 350,000, which is about 53% of wage employees, including 245,000 in the West Bank and 105,000 in Gaza Strip, compared with 30% employed in the public sector. About 17% of wage employees worked in Israel and Israeli settlements, including about 24% of wage employees from the West Bank working in Israel and Israeli settlements.

The labor force participation rate for individuals aged 15 years and above was 46% in Palestine (72% for males and 21% for females). The same rate was for the West Bank with a rate of 46% (74% for males and 18% for females), compared to 47% in Gaza Strip (68% for males and 26% for females).

About 25% of wage employees work as professionals or technicians in Palestine; with a rate of 15% for males and 70% for females. In addition, 18% of wage employees in Palestine work in craft and related trade worker at a rate of 21% for males and 2% for females.

The average daily real wage in the private sector in Palestine was about 70 Israeli shekels ($1 equivalent 3.60 Israeli shekels) at about 45 shekels in the Gaza Strip and about 93 shekels in the West Bank, excluding wages for employee in Israel and settlements.

Construction activity in the private sector recorded the highest average daily real wage of about 104 shekels in the West Bank and 42 shekels in the Gaza Strip, followed by the services activity with 103 shekels in the West Bank and 78 shekels in Gaza Strip. While the agriculture activity recorded the lowest average daily wage at 73 shekels in the West Bank and 21 shekels in Gaza Strip.

About 33% of wage employees in the private sector receive less than the monthly minimum wage of 1,450 shekels. In the West Bank, about 13% of wage employees in the private sector received less than the minimum monthly wage with about 29,400 wage employees with an average wage of 1,076 shekels.

In Gaza Strip, the percentage of wage employees in the private sector who received less than the minimum monthly wage was 80% with about 75,400 wage employees receive an average wage of 671 shekels.

The average actual weekly work hours for wage employees in Palestine was 42 hours; 40 hours for wage employees in the public sector, and 43 weekly hours for wage employees in the private sector.

About two-thirds of employed persons in Palestine are classified as informal employment, and about one quarter of private sector wage employees receive benefits. About 65% of the employed persons in Palestine are classified as informal employment; 70% in the West Bank and 50% in Gaza Strip.

About 25% of the private's sector wage employees receive benefits (pension funding/ end of service benefits, paid annual leave and paid sick leave), while 43% of employed women received paid maternity leave. In addition, 27% of wage employees in the private sector have valid work contracts, and 20% of wage employees are affiliated with trade or vocational s in Palestine.
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