PCBS: Unemployment Rate among Palestinian Labour Force Reaches 26.2%

RAMALLAH, May 6, 2014 – (WAFA) – Unemployment rate among the Palestinian labour force reached 26.2%, statistics issued Tuesday by the Palestinian Bureau of Statistics revealed.

The number participants in labor force in Palestine was about 1,253,600 in the 1st quarter 2014: with a labor force participation of 812,200 and 441,400 in the West Bank and Gaza Strip respectively, according the results of the January-March round of the labor force survey conducted by the bureau.

The labor force participation rate in the West Bank and Gaza Strip was 47.2% and 44.8% respectively and the labor force participation rate of persons aged 15 years and above was 46.3%.

The number of unemployed increased from 301,200 in the 4th quarter 2013 to 328,000 in the 1st quarter 2014; the number increased from 159,600 to 180,200 and from 141,600 to 147,800 in the Gaza Strip and West Bank respectively in the same period.

 In regard to unemployment rate, it increased from 38.5% in the 4th quarter 2013 to 40.8% in the 1st quarter 2014 while it remained steady in the West Bank at 18.2% in the same period.

 The unemployment rate for females remained higher than that of males; It reached 36.5% compared to 23.3% in the 1st quarter 2014.

The survey designated Jerusalem as the governorate with highest unemployment rate in the West Bank governorates with 21.4%, while Khan Younis was designated as such in the Gaza Strip with 46.4%.

Based on the relaxed definition of unemployment, the survey indicated that unemployment rate increased from 28.6% in the 4th quarter 2013 to 29.3% in the 1st quarter 2014.

In regard to number of employees in the local market, it increased from 786,700 in the 4th quarter 2013 to 814,600 in the 1st quarter 2014; it increased by 21,500 and 6,400 respectively in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

When distributed among various sectors, the services sector was designated as the first employer in the local market with 32.6% in the West Bank and 56.3% in Gaza Strip while the public sector was ranked as the second employer with 40.5% in Gaza Strip and 15.9% in the West Bank.

The survey revealed that average daily wage for wage employees in the West Bank was 90.2 NIS compared with 61.7 NIS in Gaza Strip.

In regard to Palestinian employed in Israel and Israeli settlements, the survey revealed that the number of Palestinian employees from the West Bank employed in Israel and Israeli settlements increased from 104,700 in the 4th quarter 2013 to 110,300 in the 1st quarter 2014, noting that only 55,500 had permits, 38,600 worked without permits while 16,200 employees had Israeli IDs or foreign passports.

The number of Palestinian employees in Israeli settlements in particular increased from 18,900 in the 4th quarter 2013 to 23,200 in 1st  quarter 2014.

The survey designated the construction sector as the biggest employer of Palestinian employees working in Israel and Israeli settlements as it employs 63.0% of them.

In regard to employment status in the 1st quarter of 2014, the survey revealed that  67.6% of employees are wage-based: 64.8% in the West Bank compared with 74.6% in Gaza Strip.

It also revealed that 18.6% of employees are self-employed; 18.8% in the West Bank and 18.3% in Gaza Strip, that 7.1% of employed persons are unpaid family members distributed to 8.9% in the West Bank and 2.6% in Gaza Strip and that 6.7% of employed persons are employers distributed to 7.5% in the West Bank and 4.5% in Gaza Strip.

In regard to private sector employees’ rights and privileges, 27.2% of wage-earning employees are hired by contract (9.1% of them with limited period and 18.1% with unlimited period), in contrast to 49.6% hired without any contract.

In terms of pension funds in particular, the survey showed that 20.7% of wage-earning employees contribute to a pension fund: 22.1% have annual paid leave and 36.5% of wage employees women have paid maternity leave.

Regarding affiliation to trade unions, the survey revealed that 27.6% of employees in Palestine are affiliated to a trade unions/ professional associations divided into 14.3% in the West Bank and 61.5% in Gaza Strip.

Tackling those who receive less than minimum wage, the study revealed that 35.8% of wage-earning employees in the private sector receive such wages.

In the West Bank about 22.1% of wage-earning employees in the private sector receive less than minimum monthly wage about 48,700 wage employees with average monthly wage 1,030 NIS. The large number of those who receive less the minimum monthly wage are in the north of the West Bank about 23,200 person with average monthly wage 1,065 NIS, followed by south of the West Bank governorates about 19,100 with 977 NIS.

In Gaza Strip the percentage of wage-earning employees in the private sector was 69.7% with 62,000 wage-earning employees earning an average monthly wage of 708 NIS. The large number of those who receive less than minimum monthly wage are in north Gaza Strip about 37,500 person with average monthly wage 718 NIS, followed by middle Gaza Strip governorates about 18,100 with 707 NIS.

Finally, the survey revealed that 4.1% of children aged 10-17 years are employed divided into 5.7% in the West Bank and 1.6% in Gaza Strip.

SOURCE: WAFA