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SWS: 8.7 M Pinoys jobless

MANILA, Philippines — An estimated 8.7 million adult Filipinos were jobless in the third quarter of 2017, according to the latest survey released by Social Weather Stations (SWS).

The survey, conducted from Sept. 23 to 27 with the results released yesterday, said 18.9 percent of adult Filipinos in the labor workforce are jobless.

This is lower than 22.2 percent (about 10.5 million) who were jobless in June 2017, but higher than the 18.4 percent (about 8.2 million adults) in September last year.

According to SWS, 10.4 percent of those who said they were jobless voluntarily left their jobs, while 6.6 percent involuntarily lost their jobs. The remaining 1.9 percent are first-time job seekers.

The survey covered adults in the labor force, or those aged 18 and above with a job at present, plus those without a job at present and looking for a job.

An estimated 46.1 million adult Filipinos were part of the labor force in September, down from an estimated 47.1 million in June 2017.

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SWS said joblessness significantly fell among women, from 31.5 percent in June to 26.5 percent in September, while adult men who do not have jobs slightly fell from 15.2 percent to the 13.5 percent.

Meanwhile, the number of adult Filipinos who believe that more jobs will be created in the following year decreased from 46 percent in June to 45 percent in September.

The number who said there will be fewer jobs rose three points from 15 percent to 18 percent, while those who said there will be no change in job availability fell from 30 percent to 27 percent.

SWS said net optimism that more jobs will be created was downgraded from a “very high” +31 to “high” +28.


The joblessness rate released by the SWS is different from the labor force survey of the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), which said that unemployment rate in the country is only at five percent.

SWS said PSA uses a different definition of unemployment, which resulted in the huge discrepancy.

“The SWS data on joblessness refer to the population of adults in the labor force. This is because respondents in the standard SWS surveys are those at least 18 years old. On the other hand, the official lower boundary of the labor force has always been 15 years of age,” the pollster said.

“For example, SWS directly asks if the respondent has work at present, whereas PSA specifies a minimum of one hour of work to be counted as employed. The leniency of this requirement made it very easy to be officially employed,” it added.

SWS said data from PSA will be comparable to its joblessness rate if the underemployment rate, which is at 15.1 percent in the latest labor force survey,

The SWS survey interviewed 1,500 adult Filipinos, and has a margin of error of +/- three percent.

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