Working in Palestine: perpetual crisis in the Palestinian labour market – Middle East Monitor

As with the latest, largely symbolic, round of “peace talks” sponsored by France, discussion about real life in Palestine is frequently overshadowed by grandstanding and political abstractions. However, while diplomatic envoys busy themselves in pursuit of meaningless ways to re-label aspects of the status quo without changing anything substantive, it is possible to bring to light some of the real structural barriers to improving the lives of ordinary Palestinians.

By examining the current state of the Palestinian labour market, this article shows how two main factors combine to produce serious social issues of concern. These factors are (a) Israel’s restrictive and belligerent occupation, and (b) various weaknesses in the structure of Palestinian economic governance; together they produce high unemployment, low pay and the under-representation of women in the labour market.