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Jobless Filipinos up by 300,000 — SWS

The number of unemployed Filipinos slightly increased by about 300,000 individuals in the second quarter of 2014, based on the latest Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey results.

The nationwide survey conducted from June 27 to 30 among 1,200 respondents found that joblessness rate among Filipinos at least 18 years old increased from 25.7 percent or 11.5 million Filipinos in March, 2014 to 25.9 percent or 11.8 million individuals in June, 2014.

To define joblessness, SWS said those who fall under this category are individuals 18 years old and above without a job and also looking for a job.

However, those jobless who are not looking for work, such as housewives and retired individuals are excluded from this category.

SWS noted that joblessness has been above 20 percent since May 2005, except in March, 2006 (19.9 percent); December, 2007 (17.5 percent); and September, 2010 (18.9 percent).

Meanwhile, the highest unemployment rate among Filipinos was recorded in February, 2009 at 34.4 percent.

The SWS survey showed that the number of unemployed Filipinos is composed mainly of adults who quit their jobs (from 11.4 percent to 13.2 percent), were retrenched (from 10.7 percent to 8.8 percent), and first-time job-seekers (from 3.3 percent to 3.6 percent).

Of the 8.8 percent who were retrenched, 6.3 percent had their contracts not renewed, 1 percent had employers who stopped operations, and 1.5 percent had been laid off.

“Adult joblessness has traditionally been dominated by those who voluntarily left their old jobs and who lost their jobs due to economic circumstances beyond their control,” SWS said.

In the same survey period, Filipinos’ optimism on job availability has declined from “fair” +13 in the first quarter to “mediocre” +3 presently.

From 36 percent previously, 32 percent of Filipinos at present are optimistic that the number of available jobs in the next 12 months would increase.

Meanwhile, 29 percent from 32 percent said it would stay the same, and 28 percent from 23 percent believe that the number of available jobs would decrease.

With regard to availability of jobs by gender, joblessness among women increased to 39.9 percent (from 37.8 percent), while joblessness among men decreased to 14.7 percent (12.9 percent).

By age group, joblessness increased sharply by 19.4 points among 18-24 year-old youth, bringing the joblessness rate to 62.8 percent in the second quarter. SWS said it is the highest joblessness rate among 18 to 24 year old Filipinos since June 2008 (63.3 percent).