World Economy

Jobless Rate in Occupied Palestine World’s Highest

Jobless Rate in Occupied Palestine World’s HighestJobless Rate in Occupied Palestine World’s Highest
Developments in the labor market mirror the dismal economic situation and the constraints imposed by the Israeli occupation

The unemployment rate in the Israeli occupied Palestinian territory has risen to the world’s highest level, at 27.4% in 2017, says an annual report of the International Labor Organization, entitled “The situation of workers of the occupied Arab territories”.

Women and youth are particularly affected. Unemployment rates among Palestinian women are now approaching the 50% mark, with rates for youth not far behind. “The absence of a political and diplomatic process on the basis of the Oslo Accords cements the occupation and impedes Palestinian development,” says ILO Director General Guy Ryder in his preface to the report. reported.

“The Palestinian labor market has deteriorated to lows which should be a deep concern to all involved. It is plain to see that the absence of opportunity for young people drives them to desperation,” Ryder said.

In Gaza, almost every second worker is unemployed and almost two thirds of women workers are jobless. The blockade has paralyzed much of the economic activity, and per capita incomes have fallen behind the levels of the early 1990s.

Developments in the labor market mirror the dismal economic situation and the constraints imposed by the occupation. In view of the severe lack of job opportunities, it is not surprising that a growing number of Palestinians, particularly the young, are disengaging from the labor market, the report says. Labor force participation rates in the OPT are among the lowest in the world.

The report submitted to the ILO’s International Labor Conference  also details the multiple restrictions on economic activity arising from the Israeli occupation of the West Bank, including East Beit ul-Moqaddas (East Jerusalem).

Most of the occupied land remains effectively off limits for Palestinians, settlement building is intensifying and East Beit ul-Moqaddas is cut off from the rest of the West Bank.

The reports calls for “improved governance and urgent reform” of the recruitment, placement and entry system for Palestinians working in Israel. Such an initiative would represent “a needed and welcome relief from which the Palestinian worker and the Israeli employer stand to benefit.”

In his report, the head of the ILO calls for dialogue and a joint search for solutions which “will effectively bring about decent work to the occupied Arab territories.

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