10M Filipinos jobless in Q3 of 2019: SWS

Around 21.5 percent or an estimated 10 million adult Filipinos are jobless from July to September period, according to the latest survey conducted by the Social Weather Stations (SWS).

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The SWS poll, conducted on Sept. 27 to 30, showed the number of unemployed Filipinos in the third quarter of 2019 was up by 0.8 percentage point from 20.7 percent or an estimated 9.8 million jobless Filipinos recorded in June.

SWS defines jobless Filipinos as those who either voluntarily left their previous jobs; lost their jobs because of retrenchment; and, are seeking jobs for the first time.

The survey found that 9.5 percent or estimated 4.4 million of the total number of unemployed Filipinos voluntarily left their old jobs, 8.4 percent or estimated 3.9 million were retrenched, and 3.5 percent or estimated 1.6 million were first-time jobseekers.

Around 5.8 percent or estimated 2.7 million retrenched workers did not have their contracts renewed, 1.3 percent or estimated 596,000 got laid off, and the remaining 1.3 percent or estimated 621,000 had employers who closed operations.

SWS noted that the 0.8-percentage point rise in the Filipinos’ joblessness was due to increases in Balance Luzon, Mindanao, and Metro Manila, combined with a decline in the Visayas.

Adult joblessness rose by 0.3 percentage point in Metro Manila (24.5 percent or estimated 1.6 million from 24.3 percent or estimated 1.7 million), 3.3 percentage points in Balance Luzon (25 percent or estimated 5.3 million from 21.7 percent or estimated 4.4 million), and 1.2 percentage points in Mindanao (19.9 percent or estimated 2.2 million from 18.7 percent or 2.1 million).

The number of unemployed Filipinos was down by 6.3 percentage points to 11.8 percent or estimated 930,000 from 18.1 percent or estimated 1.7 million.

Adult joblessness was higher among women, which was at 31.4 percent or estimated six million, compared to 14.6 percent or estimated four million among men.

SWS stressed that joblessness was highest among age group 18 to 24, which was at 44.9 percent or estimated 1.9 million, despite decline by 5.3 percentage points from 50.2 percent or estimated 2.8 million.

Joblessness rose among 25 to 34 age group (30.9 percent or estimated 3.3 million from 28.1 percent or estimated 3.1 million), 35 to 44 age group (17.3 percent or estimated two million from 10.4 percent or estimated 1.2 million), and those aged 45 years and above (14 percent or estimated 2.8 million from 13.9 percent or estimated 2.7 million).

The SWS poll likewise showed that adult joblessness was higher in urban areas, which was at 23.4 percent or estimated 4.1 million, than in rural areas, which was at 20.3 percent or estimated 5.5 million.

The survey found that the labor force participation rate is at 69.4 percent or estimated 46.3 million, lower than June’s 71.1 percent or estimated 47.4 million.

SWS noted that 53 percent of adult Filipinos were “optimistic” while 13 percent were “pessimistic” about job availability in the next 12 months.

Around 21 percent believed there will be “no change” in the number of jobs available in the country while 12 percent were ambivalent on the matter.

The SWS interviewed 1,800 adult Filipinos, using sampling error margins of ±2.3 percentage points for national percentages, ±4 percentage points each for Balance Luzon and Mindanao, and ±6 percentage points each for Metro Manila and the Visayas.

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