The job market is looking good, according to a report out Tuesday from the Jerusalem Center for Public Policy and Strategic Studies.
The report, entitled Job market in the Occupied Territories and West Bank, is a compilation of the latest available data on employment, wage rates, unemployment and income levels.
The report, based on information from the International Labor Organization (ILO), also shows that the Palestinian economy expanded by 2.4 percent last year, while the Westbank economy expanded 5.6 percent, bringing its overall economic output to a record high.
The report notes that the Gaza Strip, which had its first major Palestinian-Israeli conflict in 2008, saw a decline in unemployment rates and an increase in the number of employed people.
The Gaza Strip’s unemployment rate is about 12 percent, while it is about 20 percent in the occupied West Bank.
However, the unemployment rate in the Gaza strip is about 60 percent higher than in the territory under the control of Israel, which accounts for almost 90 percent of the Gaza’s GDP.
“Israel has a major disadvantage in the Palestinian territories, which are largely dependent on Israel for employment, but the Palestinian Authority’s policies are more conducive to job creation and higher wages,” said Yigal Palmor, the report’s author.
Palmor added that the economic development of the West-Bank region has increased by 10 percent since 2007.
The Palestinian Authority is currently in charge of the Palestinian regions of Gaza and the West Jerusalem, and is also responsible for the territories that are under Israeli control.
Palmor said that the report is based on data that is provided by the Palestinian Ministry of Labor, Employment and Social Affairs, which provides information on economic activity in the territories.
“The Palestinian Authority has set up a database for its employees and other employees, which is available to anyone, regardless of their nationality or employment status,” he said.
Palor pointed out that there are no figures on the employment rate in occupied Jerusalem, which includes the al-Aqsa Mosque compound and the Haram al-Sharif compound.
“However, the data available on the West bank shows that unemployment rates have dropped dramatically in recent years, from about 35 percent in 2007 to just 8 percent today,” he added.
Palomor noted that while unemployment in the settlements and in the East Jerusalem are high, the employment rates in the region are higher.
Palmeron said that while the economic recovery in the Israeli-occupied territories has been relatively rapid, it is not as rapid as in the surrounding territories.
He added that there has been no comparable improvement in the economy in the United Arab Emirates, the Palestinian territory’s largest neighbor.
PalPalmerons report notes the economic growth of the occupied territories was accompanied by significant growth in the private sector.
It also noted that, for the first time in years, the private economy grew in the regions under the Palestinian leadership.
Paleron said he hopes the report will stimulate the PA to improve the economy and help the Palestinian people recover from the impact of the conflict.
Palmelons report also notes that there is a growing number of young people who are studying in the Jordan Valley, and are finding jobs in the PA’s infrastructure and industry.
The economic development and job creation in the area are leading to a growing population, which means that the region is experiencing a demographic transition, which will increase the population’s share of the population, according the report.
Palmers report comes amid a worsening economic situation in the Middle East, which was caused by a rise in the price of oil, a key component of the Palestinians economy.
The price of the oil has surged, and prices have soared across the Middle Eastern region, including in the Palestine-controlled territories.
Palers report found that the West Wall, the main Israeli-controlled portion of the Old City of Jerusalem, experienced the highest number of demolitions in the entire region last year.
Palmon noted that he hopes that the study will lead to more dialogue between the PA and the Israeli government.
“We are seeking to create an environment where the two sides can come together, in order to solve the conflict peacefully,” he noted.