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UNEMPLOYMENT - PALESTINIANS

ILO: Unemployment
in the
Occupied Palestinian Territory
World’s Highest

Over Half of Palestinian
College Graduates
are Unemployed, Report Finds

The Labour Force Survey Results
Fourth Quarter
(January– March, 2018)
- Main Results

Fifty years of Occupation
Have Driven the Palestinian Economy into De-development and Poverty

Militia Groups (Palestinian on
West Bank,
Hamas in Gaza)



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MODERN HISTORY OF ISRAEL

THE

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STORY OF THE JEWISH PEOPLE



































ILO: UNEMPLOYMENT IN THE OCCUPIED PALESTINIAN TERRITORY WORLD’S HIGHEST

The ILO’s annual report on the situation of workers of the occupied Arab territories calls for dialogue and a joint search for solutions to bring about decent work.
International Labour Organisation News  30 May 2018


GENEVA (ILO News) – The unemployment rate in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT) has risen to the world’s highest level, at 27.4 per cent in 2017, says an annual report of the International Labour Organization (ILO), entitled ‘The situation of workers of the occupied Arab territories.’

Women and youth are particularly affected. Unemployment rates among Palestinian women are now approaching the 50 per cent mark, with rates for youth not far behind. “The absence of a political and diplomatic process on the basis of the Oslo Accords cements the occupation and impedes Palestinian development,” says ILO Director-General Guy Ryder in his preface to the report. “The Palestinian labour market has deteriorated to lows which should be a deep concern to all involved. It is plain to see that the absence of opportunity for young people drives them to desperation,” Ryder continues.

In Gaza, almost every second worker is unemployed and almost two thirds of women workers are jobless. The blockade has paralyzed much of the economic activity, and per capita incomes have fallen behind the levels of the early 1990s.

Developments in the labour market mirror the dismal economic situation and the constraints imposed by the occupation. In view of the severe lack of job opportunities, it is not surprising that a growing number of Palestinians, particularly the young, are disengaging from the labour market, the report says. Labour force participation rates in the OPT are among the lowest in the world.

The report submitted to the ILO’s International Labour Conference  also details the multiple restrictions on economic activity arising from the Israeli occupation of the West Bank, including East Jerusalem. Most of the occupied land remains effectively off limits for Palestinians, settlement building is intensifying and East Jerusalem is cut off from the rest of the West Bank.

While confrontation is on the rise overall, the report also notes encouraging signs of cooperation with regard to work in Israel by Palestinians from the West Bank. Palestinian employment in the Israeli economy increased again in 2017, by more than 11 per cent from the previous year, boosted by additional permits issued by the Israeli authorities.

Some 131,000 Palestinians worked in Israel and the settlements in 2017, contributing to the livelihoods of some 650,000 people in the West Bank. The report notes with concern, however, that their work remains associated with high costs, vulnerabilities and hardship. Moreover, around half of all such workers with permits continue to pay exorbitant fees to brokers to obtain the necessary documents. The average cost amounts to a third of monthly wages and drains USD 187 million to 292 million each year from Palestinian wages earned in Israel and the settlements. What’s more, working conditions are often precarious, particularly for the more than 40,000 Palestinians working without a permit in both Israel and the settlements.

The reports calls for “improved governance and urgent reform” of the recruitment, placement and entry system for Palestinians working in Israel. Such an initiative would represent “a needed and welcome relief from which the Palestinian worker and the Israeli employer stand to benefit.”

In his report, the head of the ILO calls for dialogue and a joint search for solutions which “will effectively bring about decent work to the occupied Arab territories. The ILO and the international community as a whole have to remain fully engaged in this effort and faithful to their commitments.”

The findings of the report are based on a mission that involved in-depth discussions with key stakeholders and field visits to the occupied Arab territories and Israel in March of this year. Since 1980, the Director-General has been mandated to present an annual report to the International Labour Conference on the situation of workers of the occupied Arab territories, including the occupied Syrian Golan.


OVER HALF OF PALESTINIAN COLLEGE GRADUATES ARE UNEMPLOYED, REPORT FINDS

37.8% and 72% of male and female graduates, respectively, did not have jobs in 2017; nearly 70% of those who pursued education degrees unemployed

Times of Israel, Adam Rasgon, 12 August 2018


The unemployment rate for Palestinian college graduates in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip in 2017 was 55.8 percent, according to a Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics report published on Sunday.

Some 37.8 percent of male graduates and 72% of female graduates were unemployed in 2017, said the report, which was published on the occasion of International Youth Day.

Comparatively, in a 2016 report, the PCBS found that college graduate unemployment stood at 51% in the first quarter of 2016.

Palestinian graduates who studied education and teaching recorded the highest unemployment rate in 2017 — 69.6% — whereas those who studied law registered the lowest unemployment rate at 25.7%, according to Sunday’s report.

The report did not break down the differences in unemployment among college graduates in the West Bank and Gaza.

Gaza has long had a significantly higher overall unemployment rate than the West Bank. Earlier this year, the PCBS reported that unemployment rates in the West Bank and Gaza were 18% and 49%, respectively.

PA Labor Minister Mamoun Abu Shahla said that Israel must lift restrictions on the movements of goods in and out of the West Bank and Gaza to lower the unemployment rate among college graduates.

“The Israeli side needs to allow us to have normal flow of goods to bring down the devastating unemployment rate among graduates,” Abu Shahla told The Times of Israel on Sunday. “Our businesses often struggle to grow and employ new workers because they are unable to export their products and import needed raw materials. Like any other market, movement of goods is a key to economic development and employing workers.”

Israel generally allows for the import and export of goods in and out of the West Bank and Gaza, but also substantially restricts and regulates them, especially those entering and exiting the Strip. The Israeli security establishment maintains that its restrictions on the movement of goods  are in place to prevent the transfer of weapons or materials that could be transformed into weapons to terror groups.

The Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories, the branch of the Defense Ministry responsible for liaising with the Palestinians, declined to comment.  


THE LABOUR FORCE SURVEY RESULTS FOURTH QUARTER (JANUARY– MARCH, 2018)
- MAIN RESULTS
Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics


The labour force participation rate of individuals aged 15 years and above was 45.4%

The number of individuals participating in the labour force in Palestine was 1,340,200 in the 1st quarter 2018; 820,900 in the West Bank and 519,300 in Gaza Strip.

The labour force participation rate in the West Bank was 44.9% and 46.2% in Gaza Strip, the gap in the participation rate between males and females in Palestine still very big where it reached 70.3% for males compared with 19.9% for females.

30.2% the unemployment rate among labour force participants

Number of employed in Israel and Israeli settlements was 121,000 in the 1st quarter 2018

Employment Status in the 1st quarter 2018

Working benefits for wage employees in the private sector


FIFTY YEARS OF OCCUPATION HAVE DRIVEN THE PALESTINIAN ECONOMY INTO
DE-DEVELOPMENT AND POVERTY

United Nations Trade and Development, UNCTAD/PRESS/PR/2017/026, Geneva, Switzerland, (12 September 2017)


This year marks the fiftieth anniversary of the Israeli occupation of the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem. It is the longest occupation in recent history. For the Palestinian people, these have been five decades of de-development, suppressed human potential and denial of the right to development. There is no end in sight, according to this year’s report on UNCTAD assistance to the Palestinian people.

The report indicates that occupation has hollowed out the agricultural and industrial sectors and weakened the ability of the economy of the Occupied Palestinian Territory to compete at home and abroad. With only 1 in 5 five hectares of cultivable land utilized and more than 9 out of 10 hectares lacking irrigation – in addition to an import ban on suitable fertilizers, and other restrictions by Israel – agricultural output shrank by 11 per cent, and the sector’s share in gross domestic product (GDP) fell from 3.4 to 2.9 per cent between 2015 and 2016.

The fact that, today, real GDP per capita in the Occupied Palestinian Territory is at the same level as in 1999 is a clear indication of the human cost and lost economic potential resulting from occupation. Economic growth in all sectors is constrained by the loss of land and resources to Israeli settlements and the annexation of land in the West Bank. The situation is further exacerbated by restrictions on the import of essential inputs, which escalate production costs, depress investment and set the economy onto a path of high unemployment and widespread poverty. This looks set to continue in 2017.

EXTREME YOUTH UNEMPLOYMENT IS A THREAT TO THE FUTURE OF THE PALESTINIAN PEOPLE

In 2016, unemployment in the Occupied Palestinian Territory was at 27 per cent, and higher still in Gaza, at 42 per cent. These figures would be even greater if discouraged workers who no longer participate in the labour force were included. The report emphasizes that, unless current trends are reversed, unemployment will worsen, per capita income will fall, food insecurity will deepen and poverty will further increase, compounding the risk of political crises fuelled by further economic decline.

Since the onset of occupation, high levels of unemployment in the Occupied Palestinian Territory have forced Palestinians to seek work in Israel and settlements, under dangerous and discriminatory conditions, often with inadequate health and safety provisions. The report notes that without such jobs, unemployment in the West Bank would be at around 40 per cent, not much better than the level in Gaza.

The report sheds light on the extremely high rate of unemployment among youth aged 15–29: 27 per cent in the West Bank and 56 per cent in Gaza in 2016. Palestinian youth unemployment rates are the highest in the region. These rates do not take into account the 6 out of 10 young people who have dropped out of the labour market and are no longer seeking employment nor attending school. This marginalization of young people discourages investment in education, lowers the accumulation of human capital and deprives the economy of potential entrepreneurs and creative thinkers. Youth unemployment should be accorded special attention from Palestinian policymakers and their development partners, the report recommends.

SETTLEMENTS CONTINUE TO EXPAND

The report notes that the United Nations Security Council, in its resolution 2334, adopted on 23 December 2016, reiterates its demand that Israel cease all settlement activities in the Occupied Palestinian Territory. However, in 2017, Israel has intensified the expansion of settlements and announced plans to build more housing units. This comes on top of the fact that in 2016, housing construction in settlements was 40 per cent higher than in 2015 and at the second highest level since 2001.

In recent years, population growth in settlements has not only surpassed population growth in Israel but also that of the Palestinian population. The settler population has more than doubled since the Oslo Accords in 1993 and 1995, and currently stands at between 600,000 and 750,000. Moreover, in 2016, Israeli authorities demolished the highest number of Palestinian structures in the West Bank since 2009. This included the destruction of donor-funded humanitarian assistance structures, with damage done to shelters, tents, water cisterns, animal barracks and other basic structures for survival and the maintenance of livelihoods.

DEEP SUFFERING IN GAZA CONTINUES

Since 1994, Gaza’s per capita GDP has shrunk by 23 per cent. In 2015, UNCTAD emphasized the dire socioeconomic conditions in Gaza, and the need for significant reconstruction in sectors such as health, education, energy, water and sanitation. However, reconstruction activities have been slow, with only half of the $3.5 billion pledged in 2014 at the Cairo Conference on Palestine – Reconstructing Gaza, disbursed. Meanwhile 84 per cent of total recovery needs remain unmet. Today, 80 per cent of Gaza’s population receive food assistance and other forms of social transfers, half of the population is food insecure and only 10 per cent have access to an improved water supply. In the meantime, Gaza’s electricity crisis means that power was not available for up to 20 hours per day in early 2017. This cripples all economic activities and the delivery of vital services, especially health services, water supply and sewage treatment, the report emphasizes.

FALLING DONOR SUPPORT SHOCKS THE PALESTINIAN ECONOMY AND FISCAL LEAKAGE CONTINUES

The report reveals that the Palestinian economy suffered yet another negative shock, in the form of a 38 per cent drop in donor support between 2014 and 2016, due in part to the fact that occupation prevents previous aid flows from translating into tangible development gains. Most of the donor support has been used for damage control, humanitarian interventions and budget support. The report highlights a vicious cycle of tightening occupation, falling aid and economic collapse, leading to political discontent and further tightening.

Pioneering research by UNCTAD helped place the leakage of Palestinian fiscal resources to Israel on the agenda of negotiations, and contributed to an agreement whereby Israel reimbursed $300 million to the Palestinian National Authority to settle part of the leaked fiscal resources. While this was a positive first step, there is a need to establish a timely, transparent and verifiable mechanism to measure, and put an end to, the leakage of Palestinian public revenues to Israel.

UNCTAD SUPPORT TO THE PALESTINIAN PEOPLE

In the past year, UNCTAD has continued to provide assistance to the Palestinian people in the form of advisory services, research and policy papers, technical cooperation projects and capacity-building and training for Palestinian professionals from the public and private sectors.


MILITIA GROUPS (PALESTINIAN ON WEST BANK, HAMAS IN GAZA)

Each has it own large militia group responsible to its leadership.  One way of obtaining employment in areas of high unemployment is to join a local militia.   Neither have any recruiting problems and there is always a lot of competition to join. Click here for examples

Palestine:Unemployment Rate
global Economy.com