Figures released Thursday by the Central Bureau of Statistics show that there was a drop in the rate of unemployment in the second quarter of 2002. The figures show that unemployment dropped by 0.3 percent between April and July, and that the rate of unemployment now stands on 10.3 percent – some 260,500 people. The figures released by the CBS are seasonally adjusted.

During the first quarter of the year, the rate of unemployment stood at 10.6 percent, or 270,000 people.

The number of unemployed women remained largely unchanged – 10.5 percent in the second quarter, compared to 10.6 percent in the first three months of the year. The number of people not in full or part-time employment fell to 10.1 percent in the second quarter, compared to 10.6 percent in the first quarter.

The figures also show that the number of people making up the civilian work force fell from 2.54 million to 2.53 million. The number of people with jobs also fell slightly in the second quarter – from 2.27 million to 2.269 million. The size of the workforce as a percentage of the total population also fell during the second quarter of 2002: down from 54.3 percent to 53.9 percent.

The number of long-term job seekers also rose during the second quarter of the year. The number of people who have been unemployed for more than six months rose to 34 percent, compared to 28 percent in the first quarter. For males, this figure rose from 29 percent to 37 percent, while for women, it rose from 26 percent to 31 percent.

Jobless rate for Palestinians reaches 44.7 percent The Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics also announced unemployment figures Thursday, according to which 366,000 Palestinians are out of work, or 44.7 percent of the job force.

The unemployment figures were a result of a Palestinian survey that was to be based on 7,559 households, but pollsters were only able to reach 4,508 of them due to the restrictive conditions imposed by the Israel Defense Forces in the territories.

According to the survey, during the second quarter of 2002, only 680,000 Palestinians of working age were employed. The percentage of workers earning wages below the poverty line (NIS 1642 for a household of six people) rose from 54.2 percent in the first quarter of 2002 to 59.2 percent during the second.