According to the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS) quarterly labor force report, in the third quarter of 2022, unemployment in Gaza stood at 46.6%, a 2.5 percentage point increase compared to the previous quarter (when unemployment was 44.1%). The unemployment rate in the West Bank in the third quarter was 12.6%.
The third quarter of the year saw an increase in the workforce participation rate in Gaza, meaning the proportion of people, of working age, within the general population who are either employed or actively searched for employment in the three weeks preceding the PCBS poll. The workforce participation rate in the third quarter of 2022 reached 42.1%, a 7% increase compared to the previous quarter.
In Q3, 31.5% of those employed in Gaza worked in the public sector, for the Palestinian Authority or the de facto authorities in Gaza. Employees in the public sector earn an average of 95.1 ILS (or about 27 USD) per day. Many of them have been receiving only partial salaries for some time. Employees in the private sector earn an average of 32.6 ILS (or about 9.26 USD) per day. Average monthly earnings in Gaza stood at 705 ILS (roughly 200 USD) in the third quarter, compared to 1,461 ILS (roughly 415 USD) in the West Bank. Average daily wages in the Strip in Q3 were only 30.8 ILS (about 8.75 USD), compared to an average daily wage of 115.4 ILS (about 33 USD) in the West Bank.
Though the number of people working in Gaza did increase compared to the previous quarter, the number of workers in the fishing and farming sectors dropped by 6% during this period. The unemployment rate among young people (ages 15-29) stood at 62.3%, compared to 59.1% in the previous quarter and 70.4% in the third quarter of 2021.
Unemployment in Gaza is still much higher among women than among men, reaching 72.2% in Q3, compared to 65.1% in the previous quarter and 68.6% in the third quarter of 2021. The number of women employed in Gaza dropped by 12% in this quarter compared to the previous one. In the West Bank, unemployment among women stood at 24.7% in the third quarter of the year.
The ongoing restrictions imposed by Israel on movement of people and goods to and from the Strip are a key factor in Gaza’s dire economic situation. To read more about the impact of the economic situation, among other repercussions of the Israeli closure, on mental health in Gaza, see here.