SOME 22.9 percent or an estimated 10.4 million Filipino adults are “jobless," 2.2 percentage points down from December’s 25.1 percent or an estimated 11.2 million adults, according to the poll by Social Weather Stations (SWS).
The March 25 to 28 survey, which was first published by newspaper BusinessWorld, found that there is “steady” joblessness, as the country marks its first labor day under the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte.
The SWS defines joblessness based on two qualifications: those without a job and are looking for a job.
Of the 10.4 million unemployed Filipinos, about 11.2 percent or an estimated 5.1 million adults voluntarily left their jobs, a percentage lower than 12.2 percent or an estimated 5.5 million adults posted in December.
Some 8.6 percent or an estimated 3.9 million Filipino adults lost their jobs because of economic circumstances beyond their control, barely changed from December’s 8.7 percent or an estimated 3.9 million adults.
Around 3.1 percent or an estimated 1.4 million adults are first-time job seekers, lower compared to 4.3 percent or an estimated 1.9 million adults in December.
The survey also showed that the adult labor force participation rate was at 72.2 percent or 45.5 million adults, hardly changed from December’s 72.1 percent or an estimated 44.8 million adults.
The SWS said 44 percent expressed optimism that there will be more jobs in the next 12 months, falling by four percentage points from December’s 48 percent. Fifteen percent of the respondents believed there will be fewer jobs in the same period while 27 percent said there will be no change in job availability.
The optimism rate yielded a “high” +29 net optimism on job availability in March, eight percentage points and one grade down from the record-high “very high” +37 recorded in December.
In a statement, Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella said the joblessness score in March “is an affirmation of the significant strides of the Duterte administration in sustaining the country’s robust economic growth and making it inclusive.”
“The government increased investments in infrastructure will usher in the Golden Age of Infrastructure through our Build-Build-Build campaign, which is expected to employ millions of Filipinos in the next five years and spur economic activities by stimulating countryside development,” Abella said.
The SWS interviewed 1,200 adults nationwide with a sampling error margins of ±3 percentage points. (SunStar Philippines)