RAMALLAH, February 16, 2017 (WAFA) – Unemployment rate in Palestine reached 26.9% in 2016, with Gaza hardest hit at 41.7% unemployment compared to 18.2% in the West Bank and rate among women reach almost 45%, the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS) said in a report published Thursday.
Using International Labor Organization (ILO) standard, unemployment increased from 25.9% in 2015 to 26.9% in 2016, said the PCBS.
It said that 360,500 were unemployed in 2016, including 206,800 in Gaza Strip and 153,700 in the West Bank.
The unemployment rate in Gaza Strip was 41.7% compared with 18.2% in the West Bank.
Females were also highest hit by unemployment with a rate of 44.7% compared to 22.2% for males.
The highest unemployment rate in 2016 was 43.2% among youth aged 20-24 years, while based on years of schooling, the highest unemployment rate reached 50.6% for females with 13 years of schooling and more.
Labor force participation rate of individuals aged 15 years and above was 45.8%, or 1,341,000; of which 844,600 (45.6%) were in the West Bank and 496,400 (46.1%) in Gaza Strip.
The gap in the participation rate between males and females in Palestine was very big where it reached 71.6% for males compared with 19.3% for females.
The number of employed in the local market increased from 846,200 in 2015 to 861,200 in 2016, an increase by 2,400 in the West Bank and 12,600 in the Gaza Strip.
The services sector was the biggest employer in the local market with 33.2% in the West Bank and 53.8% in Gaza Strip.
The public sector employed 21.6% of those in employment; 36.4% in Gaza Strip and 15.4% in the West Bank.
The average daily wage for employees in the West Bank was 98.1 Israeli shekels (app. $25) compared with 61.7 shekels (app. $15) in Gaza Strip.
The PCBS said 116,800 people worked in Israel and Israeli settlements in 2016 compared with 112,300 in 2015. Of these; 61,300 had a permit, 42,000 worked without any permit and 13,600 employed individuals have an Israeli identity card or foreign passport.
The number of employees in the Israeli settlements decreased from 22,400 in 2015 to 20,800 in 2016 with 63.8% of them working in the construction sector.
The average daily wage for employees in Israel and the Israeli settlements reached 218 shekels (app. $60) in 2016.
According to the PCBS, 69.5% of employed individuals were wage employees (65.6% in the West Bank and 78.7% in Gaza Strip), and 18.6% were self- employed (20.5% in the West Bank and 14.0% in Gaza Strip).
Only 26.2% of wage employees were hired by contract (9.7% of them with ed period and 16.5% with uned period), compared with 52.8% hired without any contract, and 21.0% of wage employees are hired by verbal agreement.
In addition, 35.6% of wage employees in the private sector received less than the minimum wage of 1,450 shekels (app. $390) in Palestine, with average monthly wage in West Bank was 1,068 shekels (app. $288) and in the Gaza Strip 748 shekels (app. $200).
A total of 3.9% of children aged 10-17 years were employed (5.3% in the West Bank and 1.9% in Gaza Strip), said the PCBS.