More jobless Pinoys in August - SWS

MANILA, Philippines - The Social Weather Stations (SWS) reported that the jobless rate among Filipino adults increased anew in August.

In its survey results exclusively published on BusinessWorld, SWS placed adult unemployment rate at 29.4% in August, lower than the 26.6% in its May survey.

The SWS rate was much higher than the figure in the latest survey of the National Statistics Office (NSO). The NSO said the country's unemployment rate stood at only 7%, equivalent to 2.8 million jobless Filipinos, in July.

The SWS and NSO data are not apples-to-apples comparison, however.

The SWS survey had respondents aged 18 years and above. The NSO survey covered those aged 15 years and above. 

Who are the unemployed?

SWS data showed majority or 12% of the unemployed resigned from their jobs while 10% were those whose work contracts were not renewed.

Around 5% of the unemployed were new entrants to the labor force; some 2% were former employees of companies that closed shop; and 1% were laid off.

Data also showed that joblessness increased among women, to 42.5% from 36.4%. The joblessness rate of men slightly increased to 19.3% from 18.9%.

Unemployment increased by 6 percentage points to 28.1% among those aged 35 to 44 and by almost 5 percentage points to 54.8% from 50% in the 18 to 24 age group.

Further, SWS said joblessness fell to 19.2% from 21.3% among those aged 45 and above, and by a percentage point to 30.2% among those 25 to 34 years old.

The SWS explained that its data is based on the traditional definition of unemployment. This includes those without jobs and are looking for jobs. Those who are not looking for work such as housewives and retired Filipinos are not included in the survey.

Jobs outlook

With the 2013 elections just around the corner, SWS data showed the employment outlook was fairly optimistic.

SWS data showed around 37% of those surveyed believed that there would be no change in job prospects in the country in the next 12 months.

However, around 33% saw more jobs in the next 12 months. Around 16% said there would be fewer jobs, and 13% said they couldn't say. -