The rate of unemployment in the West Bank and Gaza Strip decreased in 2022, the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS) revealed on Sunday.
A PCBS report on the status of the Palestinian labor force in 2022 on the occasion of International Workers’ Day, celebrated in many countries on May 1, found that the number of unemployed Palestinians decreased to 367,000 in 2022, compared to 372,000 in 2021.
The unemployment rate among Palestinians participating in the labor force decreased in 2022 to about 24% compared to 26% a year earlier.
The decrease is attributed to the rise in the labor force participation rate to 45% last year, compared to 43% in 2021.
According to the report, the unemployment rate in the West Bank dropped from 16% in 2021 to 13% in 2022.
In the Gaza Strip, the unemployment rate decreased from 47% in 2021 to 45% in 2022.
The report also found that the total labor utilization among the Palestinians decreased from about 34% in 2021 to 31% (500,000 people) in 2022, including 56,000 discouraged job-seekers and 22,000 in time-related underemployment.
The Hebron and Jenin areas in the West Bank and Deir al-Balah in the Gaza Strip recorded the highest unemployment rate.
The unemployment rate in the Hebron and Jenin areas was 17% in 2022. The two areas were followed by the Bethlehem district, where the rate of unemployment last year reached 15%.
In Deir al-Balah in the Gaza Strip, the rate of unemployment in 2022 stood at 55%, followed by the Khan Yunis district (in the southern Gaza Strip) with a percentage of about 49%.
Where are Palestinians finding employment?
According to the PCBS report, in 2022 the number of employed Palestinians in the West Bank reached 655,000, as opposed to 285,000 in the Gaza Strip, in addition to 193,000 in Israel and Israeli settlements.
There are about 862,000 wage employees (449,000 in the West Bank, 228,000 in the Gaza Strip, 156,000 in Israel and 29,000 in the settlements), according to the report.
About 54% of wage employees are working in the Palestinian private sector, 327,000 in the West Bank and 140,000 in the Gaza Strip, compared with about 24% employed persons in the public sector, and 22% of wage employees are working in Israel and the settlements.
This means that about 29% of wage employees from the West Bank are working in Israel and the settlements.
The report also revealed that the average daily wage in the Palestinian private sector was about NIS 93 ($26): NIS 38 in the Gaza Strip and NIS 117 in the West Bank.
It also revealed that 40% of Palestinian wage employees receive less than the minimum monthly wage in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip (NIS 1,880).