Home Reports and investigations 23/February/2021 12:44 PM

How coronavirus pandemic impacted the Palestinian labour market, a report by PCBS

RAMALLAH, Tuesday, February 23, 2021 (WAFA) – The labour market is considered the most affected sector during the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic since the beginning of 2020, as the Palestinian government has taken several measures in addition to an emergency plan to limit the outbreak of the pandemic, according to a report by Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS).

Thus, this release reflects the most important indicators of the Palestinian labour market during 2020 as follows:

The results showed that there are 137,600 employed persons who were absent from their jobs during the year 2020, which constitutes 14% of the total number of employed persons, compared to 68,800 employed persons in 2019. (With Percentage 7%)

The labour force participation rate decreased to 41% in 2020 compared to 44% in 2019. Also, data indicated that this percentage decreased from 46% to 44% in the West Bank and decreased from 41% to 35% in Gaza Strip during the same period.

This explains why unemployment rates didn’t increase significantly during the Year 2020, as the unemployment rate among labour force participants (15 years and over) in 2020 was about 26%, compared to 25% in 2019 while the total underutilization of labour was about 36%, according to the International Labour Organization standards (ICLS-19th).

Bethlehem Governorate recorded the highest unemployment rate in West Bank about 25% followed by Jenin and Salfit governorates about 20% while Jerusalem and Ramallah and Al-Bireh governorates registered the lowest in the West Bank Governorates about 7% and 10% respectively. in Gaza Strip Dier Al-Balah Governorate registered the highest unemployment rate about 53% followed by Rafah about 52% while the lowest registered in North Gaza governorate about 38%.

54% is the unemployment rate of youth graduates (19-29) years who hold associate diploma certificate and above; 69% for females compared with 39% for males in 2020 compared to 52% in 2019; 68% for females and 35% for males. 

The number of employed persons decreased from 1.01 million employed person in 2019 to 955 thousand employed person in 2020 by 5%; as it decreased in Gaza Strip by 13% and decreased in the West Bank by 3% during the same period.

Perhaps the largest decrease between 2019 and 2020 was recorded among wage employees, by 32 thousand employed person, followed by self-employed workers (employers and self-employed), as their number decreased by 23 thousand employed person.

The number of the employed in the local market decreased from 877 thousand in 2019 to 830 thousand in 2020, which is decreased in Gaza Strip by 13% and in the West Bank by 2% for the same period.

The number of employed in Israel and Israeli settlements decreased from 133 thousand in 2019 to 125 thousand in 2020.  as the number of employed persons has significantly decreased among individuals over 50 years old, and the data also showed that most of the decrease in the number of employed persons in the construction activity by 15%, followed by the agricultural activity by 9%, as for the rest of the activities, there was a slight increase in the number of workers.

72% of employed are wage employees, 24% are self- employed and employers, while 4% are unpaid family members.

50% of wage employed person classified as informal employment; 52% in the West Bank and 42% in Gaza Strip. 

35% of wage employees in the private sector contribute to (a pension fund/ retirement, paid annual leave and paid sick leave). In contrast, 60% of wage employees women have paid maternity leave.

36% of wage employees in the private sector  hired with a contract, 23% of wage employees affiliated to workers/vocational unions in Palestine.

K.T./ K.F.

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