At least 66% of jobs lost in Gaza, more losses possible, ILO says

At least 66% of jobs have been lost in Gaza since the Israel-Hamas conflict erupted in October, the International Labour (ILO) said on Wednesday, warning that employment losses could continue to increase in the enclave.

The losses amount to a total of 192,000 jobs in the small Palestinian territory, the ILO said in its second assessment of the impact of Israeli ground and air strikes on Gaza which began after a deadly cross-border incursion by Hamas gunmen on Oct. 7.

In a first assessment released in early November, ILO estimated that 182,000 jobs had been lost in Gaza, a figure representing more than 60% of employment.

“Today hardly anybody in Gaza is able to earn income from work,” said Peter Rademaker, ILO deputy regional director for the Arab states.

“It’s clearly a still growing curve,” he said of employment loss. “It might even get worse.”

Jobs are also being lost on a large scale in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, where the United Nations has recorded an uptick in violence against Palestinians since the outbreak of the conflict. ILO estimated that around 32% of employment has been lost since Oct. 7, equivalent to 276,000 jobs. Even before the war and the tightening of Israel‘s economic blockade of the Gaza Strip, around half of the narrow coastal enclave’s 2.3 million people lived below the poverty line.

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