27% of Palestinian workers became unemployed in second quarter of 2020

PNN/ Ramallah/

On the anniversary of World Statistics Day 20/10/2020, the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS) published a report that highlights certain Key Statistical Indicators in Palestine for the year 2020.

An overview of the Palestinian society in 2020 during the Coronavirus Pandemic showed the following results:

The number of employed individuals decreased from one million employees in the first quarter of 2020 to 889 thousand in the second quarter of 2020.

More than a quarter of the participants in the labour force were unemployed in the second quarter of 2020.

27% is the unemployment rate among labour force participants (15 years and above) in the second quarter of 2020. Yet, the disparity in unemployment rate is still large between the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, as this rate has reached 49% in the Gaza Strip as opposed to 15% in the West Bank.  The number of unemployed persons reached 321,400 in the second quarter of 2020; of which 203,200 unemployed persons lived in the Gaza Strip and 118,200 in the West Bank.

 One out of every 4 individuals suffered from “multidimensional poverty” in Palestine prior to the Coronavirus pandemic

24.0% of individuals suffered from “multidimensional” poverty in Palestine prior to the Coronavirus pandemic, whereas nearly 29% of individuals suffered from monetary poverty, which means that poverty in the State of Palestine is linked and mainly driven by “monetary” poverty.

One out of every 6 main income earners (17%) stopped working during the lockdown period.About half of main income earners did not receive their wages/salaries during the lockdown period. 52% of main income earners did not receive their wages/salaries during the lockdown period, 23% of them received their wages as usual, while 25% of them received their wages/salaries partially. Participation in Remote/Online Educational activities 51% of households in Palestine with children in the age group (6-18 years) who were enrolled in education before the lockdown period had their children participate in educational activities during the lockdown; (53% in the West Bank and 49% in Gaza Strip). In addition, there is a clear variation between the different governorates in terms of students’ participation.

 Children of about half of the households were deprived from participating in remote education due to unavailability of Internet.

49% of households pointed out that the unavailability of an internet connection in the household prevented their children from participating in the educational activities during the lockdown period. Other important reasons were: Teachers did not perform/conduct any educational activities at a rate of (22%), 13% of the students did not participate due to the fact that the child him/herself did not want to carry out nor perform educational activities, and 6.3% of students failed to participate in online education due to the inability of parents to perform educational activities.

Two out of every five households evaluated the remote/online education experience as being bad and did not fulfill the desired task.

40% of households, whose childern partcipated in any types of educational activities during the lockdown period, have evaluted the experience as being bad and not fulfilling the desired task. However, 39% of them have evaluted it as being good and fullfilling the desired task, but there was room for enhacing the experience, whereas 21% of them evaluted this experince as being good and fulfilling the desired task.

Challenges that faced Palestinian households regarding food security

42% of Palestinian households’ income declined to a half or more during the lockdown period compared to February 2020 (46% in the West Bank and 38% in Gaza Strip).

Monthly expenditures on food supplies declined for 41% of the total Palestinian households during the lockdown.

61% of the households were worried about not having enough food, while 57% of households are having a less diversified diet.

47% of households did not have the ability to eat healthy and nutritious types of food.

Households’ priorities of assistances required from government; according to their perspective

USD 2.5 billion are the Palestinian economy losses in 2020 compared to the previous year One of the impacts of the Coronavirus pandemic is the decline of the per capita gross domestic product, as per capita GDP is expected to decrease by 15.6% in 2020 compared to 2019 to reach USD 2,840.3.

A decrease in the demand on constructions during the Coronavirus pandemic

There was a sharp decrease in the number of building licenses by 45% in Palestine during the second quarter of 2020 during the pandemic. The number of new building licenses decreased by 48% in the second quarter of 2020 and decreased by 40% compared with the second quarter of 2019.

A decrease in the industrial production as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic

The Industrial Production Index decreased by 6.17% during the first quarter of 2020. It also continued to decrease, reaching 2.52% during the second quarter of  2020

A decline in consumer price levels during the first three quarters of 2020

The Consumer Price Index in Palestine showed a decrease at the general price level during the first three quarters of 2020. The peak of such decline in the consumer price level was in the second quarter of 2020 at a rate of 1.18% compared to the first quarter of 2020. Furthermore, the general price level, for both the second and third quarters of 2020, decreased by 1.51% and 2.03%, respectively, compared with the corresponding quarters of the previous year.

The tourism sector losses exceeded USD 1 billion due to the Coronavirus pandemicPreliminary estimates indicated a decrease in the expenditure of inbound tourism to Palestine by 68% compared to 2019, reaching an amount of USD 466 million.