MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – Over a million more Filipino adults became jobless in September, according to the results of a Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey released on Saturday, November 10.
The Third Quarter 2018 Social Weather Survey, conducted from September 15 to 23, shows that adult joblessness increased to 22% or an estimated 9.8 million adults in September, from 19.7% or an estimated 8.6 million adults in June.
The SWS said adult joblessness includes those who voluntarily left their old jobs, those who lost their jobs, and first-time jobseekers.
The survey results also showed less optimism in job availability in September compared to June.
“Optimism that there will be more jobs fell by 8 points from 47% in June 2018 to 39% in September 2018, while pessimism that there will be fewer jobs rose by 1 point from 15% to 16%,” the SWS said.
Net optimism on job availability was at a “high” +24 in September, 8 points lower and a downgrade from the “very high” +32 in June.
Among geographic areas, adult joblessness was highest in Metro Manila at 26.4% in September, up by 6.9 points from 19.4% in June.
This is followed by Balance Luzon at 22.9% from 19.3%; Mindanao at 19.7% from 21.2%; and Visayas at 19.6% from 19 in June.
The survey results also showed that joblessness continued to be higher among women than among men
“As usual, adult joblessness was higher among women at 32.8% (up by 6.7 points from 26.1% in June 2018), compared to men at 14.3% (down by 1.3 points from 15.6% in June),” the SWS said.
Among age brackets, adult joblessness was highest among those aged 18 to 24 at at 40.1%, followed by those aged 25 to 34 at 25.5%, 35 to 44 at 20.5%; and 45 and above at 16.9%.
The nationwide survey used face-to-face interviews of 1,500 adults: 600 in Balance Luzon, and 300 each in Metro Manila, Visayas, and Mindanao. The sampling error margins are ±3% for national percentages, ±4% for Balance Luzon, and ±6% each for Metro Manila, Visayas, and Mindanao.
“The quarterly Social Weather Surveys on joblessness are not commissioned, but are done on SWS’s own initiative and released as a public service,” SWS said.
At the time the survey was held, and between the June and September surveys, among the major news were rising inflation and higher prices of basic commodities.
On Sunday, November 11, Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said Malacañang “is seriously looking at this SWS survey,” and “is continuously finding ways to improve the local employment situation.”
Panelo noted that President Rodrigo Duterte recently signed Republic Act No. 11032 or the Ease of Doing Business Act, and that having Isidro Lapeña as director-general of the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority can boost employment in the country.
“Indeed, there will be no let-up in our efforts to bring down the unemployment rate and increase labor participation among our youth and women,” Panelo said. – Rappler.com