Contrary to media reports of a flourishing West Bank economy, evidence from the second half of 2010 shows deteriorating labour market conditions, with falling employment growth, accelerating unemployment and lower real wages. These trends disproportionately affected refugees.
In second-half 2010 (H2 2010), no refugees deepened their labour market activity while refugees withdrew further, continuing the shrinkage in the West Bank refugee labour force. In the context of overall robust labour force growth, both employment levels and unemployment levels increased in the reporting period. Non-refugees accounted for all net employment gains as refugee employment receded. At the same time, non-refugees accounted for all the growth in unemployment. Reduced refugee labour force participation resulted in a decline in the number of unemployed refugees.