Photo: David Vaaknin
Gaza evacuees (Archives)
Photo: David Vaaknin
Only half of Gaza evacuees working
Former settlers still suffer financially after disengagement, Study by Ministry of Industry, Trade and Labor reveals. Higher unemployment, drop in standard of living also noted

Gaza evacuees still suffer from employment difficulties as only 56.8 percent of them are currently working, said a study carried out by the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Labor.


The poll was conducted in the end of 2006 and showed a rise in the rate of employed evacuees from 36.5 percent in the end of 2005.


The rate of working settlers before the disengagement was 80 percent.


22.3 percent of the evacuees are unemployed and seeking work, compared to 38 percent one year ago.


The most troubling data revealed in the study is that 31.2 percent of the evacuees are unemployed and not seeking work, a significant rise from 25.5 percent six months after the disengagement and 20 percent before.


The average monthly salary among the evacuees is NIS 5,380 (about $1,281), a light rise of 2.1 percent from the average pay last year.


This is however a sharp drop of 39 percent from settlers' monthly income before the disengagement, which stood at NIS 8,790 ($2,093).


The evacuees' average salary is lower that the general average which stands at NIS 7,600 ($1,810), while their salary before the disengagement was above average.


In addition to the drop in evacuees' income, they also suffer from a drop in standard of living due to the difference in prices between products and services received in the territories compared to the prices in their current places of residence.


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