Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS) said that the unemployment rate in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT) is considered very high compared with other countries. The number of unemployed persons is estimated about 208,000 - 122,000 in the West Bank and 86,000 in the Gaza Strip.
In its Saturday report on the occasion of Labour Day, PCBS indicated that the percentage of unemployed among the persons participating in the labour force in the 1st quarter 2005 was 26.3% (22.6% in the West Bank and 34.0% in Gaza Strip). Also the unemployment rate among females reached 20.2% compared with 27.3% among men.
"The unemployment rate in the OPT is considered very high and the survey results showed a decrease in the participation rate down to 39.7% of total manpower during the period January-March 2005", PCBS said.
Since September 2000 until now the Palestinian labour market has faced continuous crisis. On the anniversary of International Workers Day celebrated around the world, one third of the Palestinian labour force has no hope to find job opportunities in the near future that would secure their minimum levels of living.
It added that the participation rate reached in the 1st quarter 2005 in the West Bank was 41.4%, compared with 36.6% in the Gaza Strip. Female participation rate in the Palestinian Territory is considered very low compared with males, at 12.2% (14.1% in the West Bank and 8.6% in Gaza Strip), compared with 66.8% for males (68.1% in the West Bank and 64.2% in Gaza Strip). The number of participants in the labour force is estimated to be about 794 thousands (540 thousands in the West Bank and 254 thousands in Gaza Strip).