Gaza Has Ultra-High Unemployment

Posted June 14th, 2011 at 2:05 am (UTC-5)
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A new study from the U.N. agency on Palestinian territories says unemployment in Gaza is 45.2 percent, one of the highest rates in the world.

The U.N. Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees released the study Tuesday. Agency spokesman Chris Gunness said the study revealed “disturbing trends” and said the high unemployment rate was due to the Israeli blockade of the territory, which is controlled by the Islamist group Hamas.

The report also indicated that real-time wages have fallen 34.5 percent since the first half of 2006, when Israel first placed sanctions on the territory.

Israel severely restricts the flow of goods into Gaza, saying the measure is necessary to prevent Hamas from moving weapons in from such countries as Iran and Syria.

Gazans are restricted from entering Israeli territory, which blocks the working-age population from taking many jobs.

Meantime, Gunness noted, the working-age population has grown about two percent since the sanctions went into place.