The unemployment rate in Gaza Strip increased from 32.5% in the 3rd quarter 2013 to 38.5% in the 4th quarter 2013 while in the West bank it was 18.2% in the same period, according to the Palestinian Central Board for Statistics.
This is not surprising given that the Israelis impose a near-total ban on exports from Gaza, leaving all but a handful of Gaza’s many factories mothballed. In the week ending March 28th there were only 6 lorryloads of exports allowed out, compared with a weekly average of 240 before the blockade according to UN figures.
The Israelis also restrict imports to about a third of their pre-blockade level. In the same week 521 lorry loads were imported compared with a weekly average of 2,807 before the blockade.
The unemployment rate for males was 23.1% compared with 33.5% for females.
The highest unemployment rate in the 4th quarter 2013 was 43.9% among youth aged 20-24 years. For years of schooling, the unemployment rate among females with 13 years of schooling or more was 46.1%.
The highest unemployment rates in the West Bank governorates was in Hebron with 25.3%. In Gaza Strip, the highest unemployment rate was in Rafah with 48.1%.