On International Workers’ Day: Unemployment rate hit 31% in 2018

PCBS/ Ramallah/

On the occasion of the International Workers’ Day, “PCBS”  presented the current status of the Palestinian labour force which showed unemployment was slightly decreasing in the West Bank compared with a noticeably increasing in Gaza Strip

Unemployment rate in Palestine increased in 2018 to reach about 31% of the labour force participants compared with about 28% in 2017, where the number of unemployed individuals increased from 377 thousand in 2017 to 426 thousand in 2018.

At the level of the region the unemployment rate was about 18% in the West Bank in 2018 compared with about 19% in 2017, while the unemployment rate was about 52% in Gaza Strip in 2018 compared with 44% in 2017.

Jenin and Bethlehem governorates registered the highest unemployment rates in the West Bank while Khanyounis was the highest in Gaza Strip

Jenin and Bethlehem governorates registered the highest unemployment with a rate of about 21%, followed by Hebron governorate with a rate of about 20%, while the lowest rate in the West Bank was in Qalqiliya governorate with a rate of about 7% followed by Jerusalem Governorate with        a rate of 11%.  In the Gaza Strip, Khanyounis governorate registered the highest unemployment rate with about 58% followed by Deir Al-Balah with a rate of about 57%, while the lowest rate was in Gaza governorate with a rate of about 48%.

The highest Unemployment rate recorded among youth (19- 29 years) which reached about 44%; 27% in the West Bank  and 69% in Gaza Strip, the youth graduates are the most subgroup suffering from unemployment with a rate of about 58%; 40% in the West Bank and 78% in Gaza Strip.  As for specialization, the youth graduates who hold associate diploma certificate and above who specialized in “Education Science and Teacher Rehabilitation” recorded the highest unemployment rate of about 76% followed by the specialization of “Mass Media and Information” with a rate of about 69%, While the specialization of “Law” recorded the lowest unemployment rate with a rate of about 29%.

In addition, 35% of Individuals in the aged (15 years and above) with disabilities who are participants of  labour force are unemployed.

There are about one million employed, with the private sector is the main employer

The number of employed Palestinians was 954 thousand; 573 thousand in the West Bank, 254 thousand in Gaza Strip, and 127 thousand in Israel and Israeli settlements. There are 665 thousand wage employees in Palestine, 353 thousand of them in the West Bank, 198 thousand in Gaza Strip, 93 thousand in Israel and 21 thousand in the Israeli settlements.

The number of wage employees in the private sector reached 350 thousand which is about 53% of wage employees, including 245 thousand in the West Bank and 105 thousand in Gaza Strip,  compared with 30% employed  in the public sector. About 17% of wage employees worked in Israel and Israeli Settlements, including about 24% of wage employees from the West Bank working in Israel and Israeli settlements.

Participation of men in the labour force is about four times higher than the participation of women

The labour force participation rate for individuals aged 15 years and above was 46% in Palestine (72% for males and 21% for females). The same rate was for the West Bank with a rate of 46% (74% for males and 18% for females), compared to 47% in Gaza Strip (68% for males and 26% for females).

One fourth of wage employees in the private sector work in technical and specialized occupations

About 25% of wage employees work as professionals or technicians in Palestine; with a rate of 15% for males and 70% for females. In addition, 18% of wage employees in Palestine work in craft and related trade worker;  reached 21% for males and 2% for females.

Low average of real wages in the private sector

The average daily real wage (base year= 2010) in the private sector was about 70 NIS in Palestine; about 45 NIS in the Gaza Strip and about 93 NIS in the West Bank (wage employee in Israel and settlements are excluded).

Construction activity in the private sector recorded the highest average daily real wage of about 104 NIS in the West Bank and 42 NIS in the Gaza Strip, followed by the services activity with 103 NIS in the West Bank and 78 NIS in Gaza Strip. While the agriculture activity recorded the lowest average daily wage at 73 NIS in the West Bank and 21 NIS in Gaza Strip.

About 33% of wage employees in the private sector receive less than the monthly minimum wage  of (1,450 NIS) in Palestine.

In the West Bank, about 13% of wage employees in the private sector received less than the minimum monthly wage with about 29,400 wage employees with an average wage of 1,076 NIS.

In Gaza Strip, the percentage of wage employees in the private sector who received less than the minimum monthly wage was 80% about 75,400  wage employees with an average wage of 671 NIS.

The average actual weekly work hours for wage employees in Palestine was 42 hours; 40 hours for wage employees in the public sector, and 43 weekly hours for wage employees in the private sector.

 About two-thirds of employed persons in Palestine are classified as informal employment, and about one quarter of private sector wage employees receive benefits

About 65% of the employed persons in Palestine are classified as informal employment; 70% in the West Bank and 50% in Gaza Strip.

About 25% of the private’s sector wage employees receive benefits (pension funding/ end of  service benefits, paid annual leave and paid sick leave), while 43% of employed women received paid maternity leave.

27% of wage employees in the private sector have valid work contracts in Palestine, and 20% of wage employees are affiliated with trade unions /vocational unions in Palestine.