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Unemployment Rate Reaches 20.9% in Q2, 2012

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RAMALLAH, August 15, 2012 (WAFA) - Unemployment rate in the Palestinian Territory reached 20.9% in second quarter of 2012, bringing total number of unemployed people to about 232,000, divided into 127,000 in the West Bank and 105,000 in Gaza Strip, the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS) said Wednesday.

Unemployment rate in Gaza Strip was 28.4% compared with 17.1% in the West Bank, and the unemployment rate for males in the Palestinian Territory was 18.8% compared to 29.5% for females, added PCBS.

According to the relaxed definition of unemployment, the unemployment rate decreased from 27.4% in the 1st quarter 2012 to 24.9% in the 2nd quarter of the same year, it said.

Labor force participation rate of persons reached a total of1.109 million divided into 738,000 in the West Bank and 371,000 in Gaza Strip.

The labor force participation rate in the West Bank was 45.4% and 40.3% in Gaza Strip. The gap in the participation rate between males and females was very big and reached 69.2% for males compared with 17.3% for females, added the press release.

About 66.5% of employed workers in the Palestinian Territory are wage employees: 63.1% in the West Bank compared with 74.2% in Gaza Strip, said PCBS, adding that around 26.5% of wage employees are hired by contract, compared with 47.3% hired without a contract.

The public sector employed 21.9% of the labor force: 37.9% in Gaza Strip and 13.9% in the West Bank, with an average daily wage for wage employees in the West Bank of $21.85 compared with $16.07 in Gaza Strip.

The number of Palestinian workers employed in Israel and Israeli settlements reached about 80,000 in the second quarter of 2012, said PCBS.

The number of workers from the West Bank employed in Israel and Israeli settlements increased from 77,000 in the first quarter 2012 to 80,000 in second quarter 2012. Of these, 41,000 had a permit, 22,000 worked without a permit, and 17,000 workers have an Israeli identity card or foreign passport.

PCBS press release noted that 56.9% of workers employed in Israel and Israeli settlements work in the construction sector.

A total 4.8% of children age 10-17 years is employed in the Palestinian Territory: 7.1% in the West Bank and 1.4% in Gaza Strip.

T.R./M.S.

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