Unemployment among Palestinians up by 25 per cent, says ILO

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Street scene in Gaza. Photo: World Bank/Natalia Cieslik

Unemployment among Palestinians has increased by 25 per cent, according to the International Labour Organization.

The ILO said the 2014 increase was driven by the stalled peace process with Israel and the effects of last year's war in Gaza.

The UN agency added that workers in Gaza and the West Bank face "consistently bleak" employment and income prospects.

Daniel Johnson has more.

The ILO says that 338,000 Palestinians are now unemployed out of a total of more than four million people.

With average unemployment in the occupied Arab territories at 27 per cent, the best paid work is often in Israel – or in the settlements.

Housing is at a premium and the pay is good – which is why Palestinian workers build homes for Israeli bosses.

Over 52,000 Palestinians work legally in Israel and another 26,000 in the settlements.

Here's ILO's Tariq Haq:

"The wages earned the Israeli economy are 2.25 times as high as those that can be earned in the Palestinian private sector, so that really shows why Palestinian workers will go to great lengths to work in the Israeli economy, even if it entails difficult journeys, precarious conditions at checkpoints, and other hardships that they may suffer."

But in other non-regulated sectors conditions aren't nearly as good.

There's no collective pay settlement on offer there and as a result workers suffer low wages, particularly in the agricultural sector in the Jordan valley.

Daniel Johnson, United Nations

Duration: 1’09″

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