Gisha: Gaza Unemployment Rate Stood At 42% in 2016

80% of Gazans 'depend on humanitarian assistance'. (Photo: via UNRWA USA)

By Palestine Chronicle Staff

Israeli Legal Center for the Freedom of Movement in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, Gisha said Gaza’s unemployment rate stood at 42% in 2016 due to the Israeli siege imposed on the already impoverished Gaza Strip.

“In the last quarter of 2016, Gaza’s unemployment rate stood at 40.6%, a drop of more than 2% compared to the previous quarter, when it stood at 43.2%. This is still an extremely high rate, even compared to Gaza unemployment rate five years ago,” Gisha said, noting that in 2012, “the unemployment rate was 31%.”

Gisha said about 6% of all employed people worked in farming and fishing sectors in October-December 2016, compared to 4.5% in the third quarter of 2016. “Many of the jobs in these sectors are seasonal and job availability fluctuates over the year, meaning this is not a sustainable increase in employment,” Gisha noted.

Gisha stressed that the rate of employment in construction in the first quarter of 2016 was 6.7%. “The figures indicate that the construction materials entering via Israel since 2014, as per the Operation Protective Edge understandings, are bringing a limited construction boom, and fall far short of bringing the anticipated growth and reconstruction,” Gisha revealed.

Gisha concluded by saying, “Overall, the employment and unemployment figures for the final quarter of 2016 and the figures for the whole year continue to point to a stagnant economy. The noticeable improvements are small and far from meeting Gaza’s need for economic development.”

Gisha added it believes that Gaza’s economy needs much more freedom of movement and access to markets. “There is no justification for the delay in implementing the necessary changes.”


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