The UNRWA has released a report undermining recent media reports that the West Bank economy was booming under the PA and Israeli occupation, according to research author Salem Ajluni. The report claims that the increase in employment reported for the West Bank is undermined by an increase in the unemployment rate due to discouraged refugee’s dropping out of the labour force.
The report also states that inflation has caused the purchasing power of Palestinian workers to decrease.
According to UNRWA’s findings, the real unemployment rate in the West Bank stood at 25 percent in the second half of 2010, up from 23.5 percent in 2009. The rate of unemployment among refugees was up 1% to 27.9%.
Much media commentary has lauded Palestinian PM’s economic policies for the West Bank as complementing PA institution building in establishing the basis of a Palestinian state.
Benjamin Netanyahu claimed in his speech to US Congress that the West Bank economy was booming with the easing of Israeli restrictions of movement in the area.
Overall annual growth in the West Bank is around 10% according to the World Bank.
International donors make up a large aspect of both PA funds and GNP in the West Bank.
The economy has benefited in recent years from increased international economic aid, increased tourism and decreased internal restrictions on movement imposed by Israel.