Photo Credit: Esty Dziubov/TPS
A street in Huwara. 2019.

The unemployment rate among university graduates in the Palestinian Authority (PA) reached 50 percent at the end of 2018, compared to a 31 percent overall unemployment rate in the PA and Gaza Strip, a study by the PA’s Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS) shows.

The labor force survey released Monday shows that about 40,000 people enter the labor PA’s market every year, and about a third of them are young. However, the PA’s labor market cannot absorb more than 8,000 employees on a yearly basis.


Therefore, there is a large gap between the number of young people with a diploma or higher degree and the jobs offered by the local market annually.

Among the different specializations, the highest percentage of unemployment among graduates is in the fields of humanities and journalism with 60 percent and 32 percent respectively among males, and 82 percent and 83 percent respectively among females.

Some 43 percent of computer sciences graduates among males and 75 percent among females are unemployed while the lowest unemployment rate was found among engineers, with 39 percent among males and 69 percent among females.

These numbers come on the backdrop of data published by the PCBS earlier this year that showed that the general unemployment rate in the PA increased in 2018 to reach 31 percent, compared with 28 percent in 2017.

The number of unemployed individuals increased from 377,000 in 2017 to 426,000 in 2018, the PCBS found.

The data indicates deterioration in the economic situation in the PA and an increase in unemployment, and especially a sharp deterioration in the Gaza Strip.

The unemployment rate was about 52 percent in the Gaza Strip in 2018, compared with 44 percent in 2017.

The highest unemployment rate was recorded among the younger generation aged 19 to 29, which reached about 44 percent, with 27 percent in the PA and 69 percent in Gaza Strip. University graduates suffered an unemployment rate of about 58 percent.

The average daily real wage in the private sector in was about NIS 70 ($20), standing at about NIS 45 in the Gaza Strip and about NIS 93 in the PA.

Some of the reasons for the failing PA economy are the drop in investments and a drop in sales, which has a ripple effect on the entire market.

Furthermore, Arab society in the PA is comparatively young, and the economy has failed to facilitate it.

The PA itself is not able to maintain its own economy, and requires a lot of external support, coming on the form of donations from foreign countries.

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