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PA TV airs program on Palestinian labor market statistics

Official PA TV program Workers’ Affairs in honor of International Workers’ Day, hosting Samer Salameh, a top official in the PA Ministry of Employment, Director of Democracy and Workers' Rights Center Hassan Al-Barghouti, and Secretary-General of the Union of New Palestinian Associations Ahmad Bleidi

Official PA TV reporter: “The workers in Palestine suffer from difficult conditions. Many of them who work within the green line (i.e., in Israel) or in the settlements are being continuously harmed and are subject to long hours of waiting at checkpoints in addition to a degrading check, and to arrests and fines.”

Text: “Number of employees in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip”

Official PA TV reporter: “The number of workers in the West Bank is 338,000, 51 percent work in the private sector, 25 percent work in the public sector, and 24 percent work in the interior (i.e., Israel) and the settlements. The number of workers in the Gaza Strip is 216,000, 53 percent work in the public sector, 47 percent work in the private sector.”

Text: “Rate of participation in the labor market”

Official PA TV reporter: “At a time when the rate (sic., age) of participation in the work market is 15 or older – 73 percent of the men and 19 percent of the women in the West Bank. In the Gaza Strip the rate of participation among men is 70 percent, and 20 percent among women. According to this, the amount of men in the work force is four times the amount of women’s participation. As a result of the economic slowdown and the decline in growth, a rise has been recorded in the rate of unemployment, which has reached 26 percent. Meanwhile, the amount of unemployed in the West Bank was 143,000 and 193,000 in the Gaza Strip.”

Text: “Data regarding safety”

Official PA TV reporter: “Regarding salaries, many of the workers receive a salary below the minimum (the minimum salary is 1,450 shekels a month -Ed.). More than 47,000 workers in the private sector in the West Bank receive a salary close to 1,000 shekels, most of them in the Hebron district. In the Gaza Strip there are 76,000 workers in the private sector receiving a salary close to 700 shekels, most of them in the Gaza [City] district. The women in the labor market suffer from exploitation and the denial of their rights, and they receive lower salaries for long work hours.”

Director of Democracy and Workers' Rights Center Hassan Al-Barghouti: “…The number of salaried workers is about 886,000. 160,000 of them are from the government sector, 120,000 work in Israel and the settlements, and the rest work in the Palestinian labor market (apparently referring to the private sector –Ed.)… The unemployed now are about 386,000, the largest unemployment rate, 45 percent of the graduates (i.e., academics). Today, after the increase in the number of workers within Israel, many in the fields of agriculture and building cannot find work by us on the West Bank.”

Green Line - 1949-1967 Armistice Line between Israel and neighboring countries (Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria) following Israel's War of Independence (1948-1949). Land within the Green Line is all part of the State of Israel since 1949. Land outside the Green Line includes East Jerusalem, the West Bank, the Gaza Strip, and the Golan Heights.

Source for minimum wage data:
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