Ma’an News Agency | – –
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Two out of five Palestinian youth were unemployed during the first quarter of 2016, according to data recently released by the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS) on the occasion of International Youth Day on Friday.
The highest unemployment rate was among youth between 20 and 24 years old, which reached 43 percent, compared to 39 percent unemployment for youth aged 25 to 29, and 35 percent for youth aged 15 to 19 years old.
Unemployment among youth who have not completed any grade level reached 55 percent, though graduates did not fare much better, with unemployment among young graduates reaching 51 percent in the first quarter of 2016.
Graduates of education and teaching programs had the highest unemployment rate at 64 percent, while law school alumni scored the lowest unemployment rate among youth graduates at 25 percent.
A statement released Friday marking International Youth Day by the United Nations Resident Coordinator in the State of Palestine, Robert Piper highlighted the “substantial challenges” Palestinian youth faced “resulting from their social, economic and political marginalization.”
“High poverty rates, shrinking economic opportunities, and an uncertain future, are all leading to an alarming sense of hopelessness among young people today.”
“Yet Palestinian youth are also blessed with possibility,” Piper said. “Palestine’s large youth population, around 1.44 million people, represents a historic demographic opportunity; if these 1.44 million youth are given access to quality education and productive employment, if they are empowered as active citizens, there is a powerful cohort of future Palestinian leaders in the making.”
“We must ensure that youth are at the core of our efforts for Palestine and are given the tools they need to lead the way. In Palestine like everywhere elsewhere in the world, there is no road to peace and stability without engaging youth to help chart the course.”
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