February 12, 2014. According to figures published by the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics, Gaza's unemployment spiked by 18.4% in the last quarter of 2013, reaching 38.5%. In contrast, the unemployment rate in the West Bank is 18.2%.
About 29,400 people joined the ranks of the unemployed in Gaza, bringing the total number of unemployed to 159,600. This is the highest unemployment rate in Gaza since 2011. It should be noted that between the second and fourth quarters of 2013, about 11,000 people lost their jobs in the construction sector.
Among Gaza's young people (aged 15-29), 56.8% are unemployed. The unemployment rate among women is 53.4%, compared to 34.8% among men. The highest unemployment rate in the Gaza Strip was recorded in the Rafah Governorate at 48.1%.
The work force participation rate (individuals aged 15 and above) was 42.2%, or 414,400 individuals, including 83,000 women (17.2%) and 331,440 men (67.1%). The remaining roughly 57.6% of the above-15 age bracket does not participate in the workforce - some 562,000 individuals, including 399,800 women (82.8%) and 162,200 men (32.9%).