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Joblessness up 23.9%, highest since 2016

Updated

By Ellalyn de Vera-Ruiz

Joblessness among adult Filipinos has reached its highest since 2016 with 23.9 percent – about 10.9 million individuals – with no job in the past three months, the latest Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey results showed.

Jobseekers queue at a Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) job fair in Manila during International Labor day(Photo by ali vicoy)

Jobseekers queue at a Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) job fair in Manila during International Labor day(Photo by ali vicoy)

The nationwide survey conducted from March 23 to 27 with 1,200 respondents found that 23.9 percent of Filipinos (10.9 million) were unemployed.

This is 8.2 points above the 15.7 percent (7.2 million adults) in December 2017, a point above the March 2017 rate of 22.9 and the highest since the 25.1 percent in December 2016.

According to SWS, the latest adult joblessness rate consisted of those who voluntarily left their old jobs at 12.6 percent (5.8 million adults), those who involuntarily lost their jobs at 7.7 percent (3.5 million adults), and first-time job seekers at 3.5 percent (1.6 million adults).

The proportion of those who voluntarily resigned or left their old jobs rose by 4.3 points – from 8.3 percent in December 2017 to 12.6 in March 2018.

Retrenchment
Those who were retrenched increased by 1.8 points – from 5.9 percent in December 2017 to 7.7 percent in March 2018.

The 7.7 percent who were retrenched consisted of 3.9 percent whose previous contracts were not renewed, 2.2 percent who were laid off, and 1.7 percent whose employers closed operations.

The proportion of first-time job seekers increased by two points, from 1.5 percent in December 2017 to 3.5 percent in March 2018.

SWS also found that joblessness slightly decreased in Metro Manila by 0.5 points from 19.5 percent in December 2017 to a record low 19 percent in March 2018. It was 24.9 percent in March 2017.

In Luzon
In the rest of Luzon, adult joblessness rose by 12.1 points from 16 percent in December 2017 to 28.1 percent in March 2018. It was 23.4 percent in March 2017.

In Visayas
Likewise, in Visayas, adult joblessness rose by 6.3 points from 15.3 percent in December 2017 to 21.6 percent in March 2018. It was 18.2 percent in March 2017.

In Mindanao
In Mindanao, adult joblessness increased by 7.6 points from 13.2 percent in December 2017 to 20.8 percent in March 2018. It was 24.9 percent in March 2017.

In urban areas
Adult joblessness in urban areas also rose by 5.6 points from 17.2 percent in December 2017 to 22.8 percent in March 2018. It was 20.9 percent in March 2017.

In rural areas
It also increased in rural areas by 10.2 points from 14.6 percent in December 2017 to 24.8 percent in March 2018. This is similar with the 24.6 percent in March 2017.

Men and women
Adult joblessness among men rose by 8.5 points from 7.6 percent in December 2017 to 16.1 percent in March 2018. This is the highest since 16.6 percent in March 2017.

Among women, adult joblessness increased by 7.2 points from 26.7 percent in December 2017 to 33.9 percent in March 2018. This is the highest since 40.2 percent in December 2016.

SWS pointed out that compared to the same period last year, joblessness rates in March 2018 hardly differ from the March 2017, at 16.6 percent among men and 31.2 percent among women.

All age groups
It noted that unemployment increased among all age groups.

It rose by 8.1 points among 18 to 24 year olds, from 45 percent in December 2017 to 53.1 percent in March 2018. This was above the 50.2 percent in September 2017 but below the 61 percent in June 2017.

It increased by 2.7 points among 25 to 34 year olds, from 23.9 percent in December 2017 to 26.6 in March 2018. It has been below 30 percent for three consecutive quarters.

It also rose by 6.7 points among 35 to 44 year olds, from 10.7 percent in December 2017 to 17.4 percent in March 2018.

It increased by 8.9 points among those 45 years old and above, from 8.5 percent in December 2017 to 17.4 percent in March 2018. This is similar to the 17 percent in March 2017.

Optimism decreases
SWS’s March 2018 survey also asked the respondents, “12 months from now, do you think there will be more jobs, no change in available jobs, or fewer jobs?”

Optimism that there will be more jobs decreased by four points from 53 percent in December 2017 to 49 percent in March 2018.

Meanwhile, those who believe that there will be fewer jobs remained at 12 percent.

The proportion of those who say there will be no change in job availability rose by a point from 24 percent in December 2017 to 25 percent in March 2018.

This resulted to a downgrade in the net optimism on job availability score (percent more jobs minus percent fewer jobs) by four points from “excellent” +41 in December 2017 to “very high” +37 in March 2018.

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