64% drop in Palestinian employment in Israel in 1st coronavirus lockdown

64% drop in Palestinian employment in Israel in 1st coronavirus lockdown

Reported Palestinian employment in the Israeli economy declined by 64% during Israel’s coronavirus lockdown in spring of 2020, the Bank of Israel reported this week. The 64% decrease, between the months of January and May, represents approximately 68,000 jobs.Palestinian employment returned to pre-pandemic levels in September after it began to recover in May.Data from the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS) indicates that there was a parallel decline in Palestinians working in Israel without a permit, from around 22,700 to around 15,300, according to the Bank of Israel.Palestinian employment in Israel accounts for around 36% of the wage of Palestinians from Judea and Samaria and as such is critical for the Palestinian economy, the Bank of Israel said citing data from the PCBS.There was a significant impact on wages due to the loss of jobs and work hours. Those who continued to work during the lockdown saw a decline of about 13% of pre-lockdown wages due to loss of work days. The decline was mostly in the construction industry with more than two thirds (47,000) of jobs lost there. Restrictions on travel caused by the coronavirus made it difficult for Palestinians to enter Israel for work and this was a major factor in the loss of jobs despite this industry’s exemption from lockdown measures.The rate of decline in Palestinian employment in this industry (around 71%) was much higher than the parallel decline in Israeli workers (around 25%).

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