Unemployment on the West Bank and the Gaza strip 2007-2011. Source: Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (2011), Labour force Survey, Q4. http://www.pcbs.gov.ps/[...]/LabForQ42011E.pdf

Unemployment in the Gaza strip is extremely high. At the most it has reached 41% on a yearly basis. In the first half of 2011, as the import blockade was softened, the unemployment decreased radically. However, this trend is now reversed so that the unemployment rate is back to over 30%.

An important factor is the Blockade which, in principle, makes it impossible for Gaza businesses to export and very hard to import raw materials. Gisha reports that 83% active companies before the blockade have now been closed down, are dormant or working with much reduced capacity. To that is added that 35% of the agricultural land and 85% of the fishing grounds are unreachable due to Israeli military restrictions. Those not unemployed are increasingly dependent on a labour marked run by the Government or those controlling the tunnel traffic.