Perhaps it is time for the Palestinian Authority to call off suicide picketing and get to work on life in their own borders. They will find this is the root to independence!
Swift economic growth in the West Bank is not enough to keep up with population growth, says a new UNRWA report. The jobless rate rose in the second half of 2010 to 25% of the region’s workforce from 21.7% in the first of the year and 23.6% in the second half of 2009. Unemployment increased even as the gross domestic product rose 7.6% last year.
Salem Ajluni, a UNRWA economic consultant said:
“There is fairly robust population growth and fairly robust labor force growth, so you need a pretty rapid rate of job creation to absorb it…You need tens of thousands new jobs each year sustainably just to maintain unemployment rates at existing levels.”
UNWRA figures however show that the number of jobs in the West Bank increased over 14,000 in 2010, or 2.6%, while, the number of people in the labor force, which the agency defines broadly to include people employed, actively looking for work as well as those who have given up, rose 4.6%.
However, the Palestinian Authority’s calculations are different.
They put the rate at 17% and say the jobless rate has been falling.
In the Gaza strip, an easing of Israel’s and Egypt’s blockade has had positive fiscal affects and foreign assistance to the West Bank, threatened by the Hamas-Fatah merger, has actually spurred a consumer and building spike.
After the threat to the PA’s foreign aid, which does make up the majority of its cash assets, it is vital to realize how the building of Jewish settlements will only increase Palestinian employment in the West Bank.
As it stands, employment in the public sector, which has been the direct beneficiary of foreign financial aid, grew by 3.6% in the second half of 2010. And in the private sector, the number of jobs declined by 1.7% while employment in Israel and in Israeli communities located in the West Bank it fell 3.6%.
Also, to further put life into the economy, all boycotts on Israeli trade must be called off.
Hey, a little self-reliance never hurt!