Gaza: Unemployment Rate Sharply Increased in 2018

Unemployment in Gaza sharply increased in 2018. (Photo: Anadolu Agency via MEMO)

Unemployment rate in the Gaza Strip sharply increased in 2018 to reach 52% compared with 44% in 2017, while in the West Bank it was 18% in 2018, compared to 19% the year before, the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS) said in its latest results of the Labor Force Survey 2018.

PCBS said there was however a significant increase by 26% in the participation rate of females in the workforce in the Gaza Strip in 2018 compared to only 18% in the West Bank, where unemployment rate for females was 51% in 2018 compared to only 25% for males.

PCBS noted that the average weekly hours worked by wage employees in the West Bank was 43.8 hours compared with 37.3 hours in Gaza, and the average number of days worked per month was 22.8 days in the West Bank and 22.6 days in the Strip.

The number of employees in Israeli settlements was 22,000 in 2018 compared with 21,000 in 2017.

The construction sector recorded the highest employment rate in Israel and Israeli settlements, which was 64% of the total Palestinian employment.

The average daily wage for the wage employees in Israel and Israeli settlements increased between 2017 and 2018 by 16 shekels ($4.37) to reach 243 shekels ($66.40).

According to PCBS, 70% of employed individuals are wage employees, 26% are self- employed and employers, while 4% are unpaid family members.

Additionally, half of the wage employees in the private sector are hired without any contract and 25% of wage employees contribute to a pension fund. In contrast, less than half of wage employees are women (43%) and have paid maternity leave.

PCBS said 30% of wage employees in the private sector received less than the minimum wage of 1,450 shekels ($396).

There was a significant decrease in the wage employees in the private sector who received less than the minimum wage in the West Bank from 18% to 12% between 2017 and 2018, and the percentage in Gaza Strip decreased from 81% to 72% during the same period.

PCBS added 4% of children/minors aged 10 to 17 years old were employed; 5% in the West Bank and 2% in Gaza Strip.

(Ma’an, PC, Social Media)

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