The number of Palestinian workers from the West Bank who are employed in Israel, including in settlements, has increased from 77,000 in the first quarter of this year to 80,000 in the second quarter, according to a report published Wednesday by the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics.

Of these workers, only 41,000 had a permit to enter Israel, while 22,000 worked without a permit, the report found.

The number of Palestinians working in Israeli settlements increased from 13,000 in the first quarter of the year to 15,000 in the second quarter, the report said.

The increase comes despite a ban issued by the Palestinian Authority against working in settlements.

More than half of the Palestinians working in Israel and the settlements are employed in the construction sector, the report found.

At the same time, the report stated, the average daily wage for Palestinians employed in Israel and the settlements increased from NIS 162 in the first quarter of 2012 to NIS 163 in the second quarter.

According to the report, the rate of unemployment in the West Bank and Gaza Strip remains relatively high.

In the West Bank, the unemployment rate during the second quarter of this year was 17 percent, while in the Gaza Strip the figure was 28%.

The highest unemployment rate during this period was 35% among youth aged 20- 24, the report found. It said the highest unemployment rate in the West Bank was in Tulkarm with 25%. In the Gaza Strip, the highest unemployment rate was in Deir el- Balah, at 31%.

The report concluded, however, that according to the relaxed definition of unemployment, the rate has decreased from 27% in the first quarter of the year to 24% in the second quarter.

The number of Palestinians employed in the local market increased from 756,000 during the same period to 797,000. The services sector was the biggest employer in the local market, with 31% in the West Bank and 51% in the Gaza Strip, the report found.

The public sector, on the other hand, employed 21% of workers – 38% in the Gaza Strip and 15% in the West Bank.

Please LIKE our Facebook page - it makes us stronger