Daily Archives: November 14, 2012

More jobs are needed in the Philippines

With the rate of Joblessness ranging from 11.7 % to as high as 22% depending on what measure is used, more needs to be done by the Government as well as the private sector to create more job opportunities for the many without one.


From BusinessWorld Philippines

November 15, 2012

Jobless rate up anew

UNEMPLOYMENT grew in the third quarter, the Social Weather Stations (SWS) said in a new report, reversing a steep fall seen three months earlier.

The latest rate of 29.4% — recorded in an August survey and up from May’s 26.6% — is equivalent to 11.7% jobless Filipinos. The government’s official figure is 7.0%, or some 2.8 million unemployed, as of July.

While higher, the SWS adult jobless rate remains some way off from the record high of 34.4% hit in March this year, and the pollster said respondents had also become more optimistic with regard to the availability of jobs.

An analyst said the government was lagging in terms of job creation, adding that the optimism may be due to the upcoming Christmas season.

A Cabinet official declined direct comment on the SWS result, noting the discrepancy with the official National Statistics Office (NSO) figure, but said the government was working to address job mismatches.

Unemployment, the SWS said, continues to be dominated by those who had resigned (12%) or lost their jobs (13%). Five percent were said to be first-time job seekers.

Of those who lost their jobs, 10% said their contracts were not renewed (up from 7% in May), 1% said they were laid off (down from 2%) and 2% (unchanged) said their employers had closed shop.

Joblessness increased among women, to 42.5% from 36.4%, while it was basically the same among men (19.3% from 18.9% three months earlier).

It rose by six points to 28.1% among those 35 to 44 years of age and by almost five points among the 18-24 (54.8% from 50%). It fell to 19.2% from 21.3% among those 45 years old and above, and by a point to 30.2% for those 25-34.

Asked about job prospects in the next 12 months, 33% said there would be more jobs, 37% said there would be no change and 16% were pessimistic, for a “fair” net optimism score of +17.

Three months earlier, 29% said there would be more jobs, 31% said there would be no change and 16% said there would be less, for a “mediocre” net score of zero.

Its figures, the SWS said, are based on the traditional definition of unemployment as being without a job and also looking for a job. The jobless who are not looking for work — housewives, the retired, etc. — are excluded.

Joblessness, it also said, refers to adults in the labor force — those who are at least 18 years old, in contrast to the official lower boundary of 15 years of age used by the NSO.

It noted that the NSO’s Labor Force Survey definition of unemployment has three requirements: not working, looking for work and available for work. Those not available for work, even though looking for work, are subtracted, while those available for work but not seeking work for a number of reasons are added.

If availability of work is considered, the SWS said its jobless rate would be 22.9% (an estimated 8.4 million Filipinos).

Asked to comment on the latest survey, Labor Secretary Rosalinda D. Baldoz only noted its differences with official figures. She pointed out that workers may lack the skills needed for available positions, saying: “The immediate solution … is the training for work scholarship of the TESDA (Technical Education and Skills Development Authority).”

Prof. Rene E. Ofreneo of the University of the Philippines’ School of Labor and Industrial Relations, meanwhile, said: “[The increase in unemployment] sounds logical because there are no major local job creation even in the PPP (public-private partnership) program.”

The optimism on job availability, meanwhile, “may be due to timing because Christmas is near,” he added.

The survey was conducted from Aug. 24-27 using face-to-face interviews of 1,200 adults nationwide. The sampling error margins are +/-3% for national and +/-6% for area percentages. — NMG

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