Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS)
On the occasion of the International Workers' Day, president of PCBS, H.E. Dr. Ola Awad, presents the current status of the Palestinian labour force in 2021
372 thousand unemployed persons in Palestine
Unemployment rate in Palestine remained at the same level in 2021 about 26% of the labour force participants compared with 2020. Whereas the number of unemployed persons increased to 372 thousand unemployed persons in 2021 compared to 335 thousand unemployed persons in 2020, because of the rise in the labour force participation rate and the decline in the employment rate in 2021.
The total labour underutilization increased from about 36% in 2020 to 34% (524 thousand persons) in 2021, including 73 thousand discouraged jobseekers and 26 thousand in time-related underemployment.
Unemployment Rate among Labour Force Participants (15 years and above)
by Region, 2015-2021
Bethlehem Governorate in the West Bank and Dier Al-Balah in Gaza Strip have both recorded the highest unemployment rate
In the West Bank, Bethlehem Governorate recorded the highest unemployment rate in 2021 with a percentage of about 25%, followed by Jenin and Hebron Governorates with a rate of about 19% each. However, Jerusalem Governorate recorded the lowest unemployment rate with a percentage of about 4%. In Gaza Strip, Dier Al-Balah Governorate recorded the highest unemployment rate of about 53% followed by Khan Yunis Governorate with a percentage of about 51%, while North Gaza Governorate recorded the lowest unemployment rate of about 38%.
There are about one million employed persons, and the private sector is the main employer
The numbers of employed persons in Palestine reached 1,034 thousand; 630 thousand in the West Bank, 259 thousand in Gaza Strip and 145 thousand in Israel and Israeli settlements. There are about 747 thousand wage employees in Palestine (402 thousand of them in the West Bank, 209 thousand in Gaza Strip, 116 thousand in Israel and 20 thousand in the Israeli settlements).
About 54% of wage employees in Palestine are working in the private sector, 285 thousand in the West Bank and 118 thousand in Gaza Strip, compared with about 28% employed persons in the public sector, and 18% of wage employees are working in Israel and Israeli Settlements. Thus, about 25% of wage employees from the West Bank are working in Israel and Israeli settlements.
One fourth of wage employees in the private sector work in technical and specialized occupations
About 26% of wage employees in the private sector work as professionals or technicians in Palestine; with a percentage of 16% for males and 74% for females. In addition, 18% of wage employees in Palestine work in crafts and related trade works: 21% for males and 2% for females.
Average of real wages in the private sector
The real average daily wage (base year= 2018) in the private sector was about 97 NIS in Palestine; about 42 NIS in Gaza Strip and about 119 NIS in the West Bank (Wage employees in Israel and Israeli settlements are excluded).
The constructions activity in the private sector recorded the highest average of real daily wage of 128 NIS in the West Bank and 40 NIS in Gaza Strip, followed by services activity with about 135 NIS in the West Bank and 74 NIS in Gaza Strip. While the agriculture activity recorded the lowest average daily wage at 85 NIS in the West Bank and 21 NIS in Gaza Strip.
Average of Real Wage in NIS for Wage Employees in the Private Sector by Region, 2015-2021
About 29% of wage employees in the private sector receive less than the minimum monthly wage of (1,450 NIS) in Palestine.
The number of wage employees in the private sector who received less than the minimum monthly wage (NIS 1,450) reached about 108 thousand; out of which 20 thousand wage employees in the West Bank (about 7% of the total number of wage employees in the private sector in the West Bank) with a monthly average wage of NIS 1,098 compared to 88 thousand wage employees in Gaza Strip (about 81% of the total number of wage employees in the private sector in Gaza Strip) with a monthly average wage of NIS 655.
Percentage of Wage Employees in the Private Sector who Received Less than the Minimum Monthly Wage, 2015-2021
In the same context, the average actual weekly work hours for wage employees in Palestine was 41 hours; 39 hours for wage employees in the public sector, and 42 weekly work hours for wage employees in the private sector.
About one third of the private sector’s wage employees receive benefits
About 33% of the private sector's wage employees receive benefits (retirement/end-of-service gratuity, paid annual leave and paid sick leave). Thus, the number of employed persons in the private sector who had written unlimited contract was 65 thousand employed persons, 130 thousand employed persons in the private sector with temporally contract, and about 208 thousand employed persons with no contract. However, about 51% of wage female employees working in the private sector got a paid maternity leave.