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Date posted: August 09, 2005
By Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics

Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics

Press Release on Labour Force Survey Results (April-June, 2005) Round

Decreased of Unemployed Persons by 14.9% between 1st quarter and 2nd quarter 2005

This report is based on the Labour Force quarterly Survey. Data was collected during 2/04/2005 to 01/07/2005, representing the 2nd quarter 2005.

The survey sample of this round is based on the 1997 census, 7,563 households were selected to represent the Palestinian society of which 6,621 questionnaires were completed.

Economically Active:

  • According to the ILO standards, the percentage of participants in labour force increased by 3.8% between the 1st quarter 2005 and the 2nd quarter 2005, where it increased from 39.7% in the 1st quarter 2005 to 41.2% in the 2nd quarter 2005, compared with 43.5% in the 3rd quarter 2000. Also the participation rate of women increased from 12.2% in the 1st quarter to 14.1% in the 2nd quarter 2005 (the number increased by 22 thousand women).

Unemployed Persons:

  • The percentage of persons who don't work nevertheless seeking or not seeking job, decreased from 31.7% in the 1st quarter 2005 to 26.5% in the 2nd quarter 2005, compared with 20.2% in the 3rd quarter 2000, according to the relaxed definition of unemployment.
  • The percentage of persons who don't work, but seeking job decreased sharply from 26.3% in the 1st quarter 2005 to 21.2% in the 2nd quarter 2005 according to the ILO standards, compared with 10.0% in the 3rd quarter 2000 (before the beginning of Al-Aqsa Intifada). The results showed that unemployment rate in the West Bank decreased from 22.6% in the 1st quarter 2005 to 17.2% in the 2nd quarter 2005, in Gaza Strip decreased from 34.0% in the 1st quarter 2005 to 30.2% in the 2nd quarter 2005, despite of that unemployment rate in Gaza Strip still high.
  • Hebron governorate registered the highest percentage of unemployment rate among the West Bank governorates which reached 24.2% followed by Salfiet district (22.1%) then Qalqilia ( 20.8%), while in Gaza Strip Deir Al Balah governorate registered the highest percentage of unemployment rate 35.2% followed by Khan Younis governorate 34.7%.
  • The results showed that the highest percentage of unemployment concentrated among the youth, the highest percentage registered for the age group 20-24 it reached 34.4% (27.7% in the West Bank compared with 47.5% in Gaza Strip), thereof 48.4% for women and 31.6% for men, followed by 15-19 age group it reached 33.7%, thereof (31.6% in the West Bank 39.6% in Gaza Strip), then 25-29 group it reached 20.8% (18.2% in the West Bank compared with 26.4% in Gaza Strip).

Employed Persons:

  • The results showed a significant increase in the number of employed persons between the 1st and 2nd quarter 2005, the increase rate reached 12.0%, the number of employed persons reached 656 thousand compared with 586 thousand in the 1st quarter 2005 (the number in the West Bank increased by 14.1%, and in Gaza Strip increased by 6.5%), also the results showed an increase of employed women by 17.8% between the 1st and 2nd quarter 2005 compared with an increase of 10.8% of employed men during the same period.
  • The local sector employed 63 thousand worker, 8 thousands of them employed by the public sector (5 thousands in Gaza Strip and 3 thousands in the West Bank) . In addition to that the Israeli labour market employed 7 thousands (2 thousands worker from Gaza Strip and 5 thousands worker from the West Bank ).
  • The results showed that private sector employed the highest percentage of the new employed persons 78.7% of the total new workers, which is estimated to 70 thousand worker, which mean 55 thousand worker was employed by private sector (50 thousand in the West Bank and 5 thousands in Gaza Strip), 43.5% from them worked as unpaid family member and 31.5% worked as self employed.
  • Agriculture sector employed the highest percentage of the new employed persons who worked as unpaid family members (68.3%) followed by trade sector (13.7%) then manufacturing sector (12.2%). While the new workers who worked as self employed the highest percentage of them were registered at trade sector at 45.8% compared with 35.4% worked in agriculture sector.
  • The positive changes occurred at the Palestinian labour market, reflected on the percentage distribution of employed persons, the results showed a significant increase in the percentage of employment1 for those who are working in agriculture in the West Bank (14.4% in the 1st quarter 2005 to 18.4% in the 2nd quarter 2005). Compared with a decrease in the percentage of the employment in services sector from 33.2% in the 1st quarter to 30.7% in the 2nd quarter 2005. While the percentage increased in Gaza Strip of those who are working in trade, hotels and restaurants from 14.8% in 1st quarter 2005 to 17.5% in the 2nd quarter 2005.
  • On the other hand, the results showed an increase in the percentage of unpaid family members in the West Bank (from 8.4% in the 1st quarter 2005 to 11.9% in the 2nd quarter 2005), compared with a decreased of the percentage of wage employees from 58.6% to 55.3% between the 1st and 2nd quarter 2005, whereas in Gaza Strip the percentage of wage employees decreased from 67.2% to 65.3%, compared with an increase in the percentage of unpaid family member from 7.7% to 8.7% between the 1st quarter and 2nd quarter 2005, in addition to an increase of workers who worked as employers from 2.0% to 2.9% during the same period.
  • The employment from the West Bank in Israel and Israeli settlements decreased to 13.6% in the 2nd quarter 2005 compared with 14.2% in the 1st quarter 2005, whereas in Gaza Strip the number reached 2 thousand in the 2nd quarter while the number is a bout 500 workers in the 1st quarter 2005.

Wages:

  • The average value of the nominal daily net wage of the employees in the West Bank increased from 71.1 NIS in 1st quarter 2005 to 73.9 NIS in the 2nd quarter 2005, compared with 70.3 NIS in the 3rd quarter 2000. While the nominal daily net wage of the employees in Gaza Strip increased from 59.8 NIS in the 1st quarter 2005 to 60.7 NIS in the 2nd quarter 2005, compared with 50.4 NIS in the 3rd quarter 2000. Also the Average daily net wage for those working in Israel and settlements increased from 121.8 NIS in the 1st quarter 2005 to 125.6 NIS in the 2nd quarter 2005, compared with 110.8 NIS in the 3rd quarter 2000.

Dependency Ratio and Poverty:

  • The economic dependency ratio decreased in the Palestinian Territory from 6.3 to 5.7 between the 1st and 2nd quarter 2005 (the change rate is 9.5%). It decreased in the West Bank from 5.6 to 5.0 (the change rate is 10.7%) and in Gaza Strip decreased from 8.2 to 7.7 (the change rate is 6.1%). The ratio in the West Bank and in Gaza Strip reached 4.3 and 5.9 in the 3rd quarter 2000 respectively.
  • The percentage of employees whose monthly wages below poverty line3 decreased from 58.8% in the 1st quarter 2005 to 56.6% in the 2nd quarter 2005 (the change rate is 3.7%), while it reached 43.5% in the 3rd quarter 2000.

Comments on the results of the 2nd quarter 2005:
The changes occurred on the Palestinian labour market are not concentrated on specific geographical area or specific sector or specific employment status. The labour force participation rate increased and unemployment rate decreased in all governorates except Qalqilia governorate which remains at the same level, and Salfiet district which increased in the West Bank, and in Gaza Strip the percentage remain at the same level at Gaza governorate while the rate increased at Rafah governorate. On the other hand, the number of employed persons at Gaza Strip increased by 11 thousand worker against the decreased of unemployed number by 8 thousands and 3 thousands their employment status changed from outside labour force to inside labour force. The increased number of employed persons worked at public sector by 41.0%, and 47.0% of them distributed equally as self employed or unpaid family member while the remaining percentages distributed at other. The trade sector employed the highest percentage of the new workers 53.0% followed by construction sector (24.0%) then manufacturing sector (23.0%). Also the women participation rate in labour force increased from 8.6% to 9.4%, and Israeli labour market employed 2 thousands worker from Gaza Strip in the 2nd quarter 2005, while the number is a bout 500 workers in the 1st quarter 2005.
In the West Bank, about 36 thousand person entered to labour market (the number of labour force participants increased to 576 thousand in the 2nd quarter compared with 540 thousand in the 1st quarter 2005), the increased rate of man power (15 years and over) is about 12 thousand person, also 24 thousand person their labour force status changed from outside labour force to inside labour force, The employed persons increased by 59 thousand worker in the 2nd quarter 2005, of them 36 thousand (due to the increased of the manpower 15 years and over and 24 thousand worked after being unemployed) .
The large assimilation of labour force and the increased of job opportunities by 59 thousand job, distributed among all sectors, the employment increased in Israel and Israeli Settlements by 5400 worker, also local agriculture sector employed 24 thousand worker followed by trade sector which employed 8 thousand person then manufacturing sector employed 6 thousand worker. While the public sector employed 2600 worker, the workers who worked under the temporarily employment project which administrated by Ministry of Labour are classified by place of work (public or private sector). the local sector employed 53 thousand worker, about 40.0% of them as unpaid, 37.0% as self employed in agriculture or trade or manufacturing, also observed from the results that the women participation rate increased from 12.2% in the 1st quarter to 14.1% in the 2nd quarter 2005.

Several factors contributed in these changes such as:

  1. The observed facilitation in all regions during the 2nd quarter 2005. such as the reopening the Al Bazan road which facilitate the people movements among Jenin, Tubas and Nablus witnessed observed decrease in unemployment rate, also the removal of the barriers that separate Tul Karem from West Bank.
  2. The number of employed in Israel and Settlements increased in addition to the increased of the workers who worked without permissions from 60 thousand in the 1st quarter to 65 thousand in the 2nd quarter 2005.
  3. Agriculture season in the West Bank which confirmed by time series studying, the results showed an increase of employed at agriculture sector from 14.4% in the 1st quarter to 18.4% in the 2nd quarter 2005.
  4. Temporarily employment project ,which administrated by Ministry of Labour, employed about 50 thousand worker during the 2nd quarter 2005, while it is necessary to indicate that public sector is not only the employed sector, when unemployed person employed by this project in private sector then this person will be registered as worker in private sector.

Source: PCB
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