Joblessness soars to 13.5-M in June — SWS

Ramon Royandoyan - Philstar.com
Joblessness soars to 13.5-M in June â SWS
Passengers bound to their respective destination line up at EDSA carousel bus station in Caloocan City on March 17, 2021.
The STAR / Michael Varcas

MANILA, Philippines — The proportion of unemployed Filipinos went up in June, a new poll released Wednesday showed, painting a bleak economic picture amid prolonged pandemic lockdowns.

A June 23-36 Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey of 1,200 adults found that 27.6% of the country’s adult labor force are unemployed, higher by 1.8 percentage points compared to May’s reading of 25.8%. That figure translates to an estimated 13.5 million jobless Filipinos, up from 12.2 million in the preceding month.

To compare, data from the Philippine Statistics Authority, which polled a bigger number of respondents for its labor force survey, showed the unemployment rate’s decline plateaued to 7.7% in June while quality of available jobs deteriorated.

SWS said those who are jobless consist of people who voluntarily left their old jobs, as well as those who are seeking jobs for the first time. The polling firm also counted those who lost their jobs “due to economic circumstances beyond their control”.

The increase in number of jobless Filipinos came at a time more people are seeking jobs to weather pandemic hardships. SWS reported that an estimated 48.9 million people aged 18 years and above are either employed or job-hunting, resulting into a labor force participation rate of 69.1% in June. That was higher than 67.0% rate in May, survey results showed.

Broken down, SWS said the increase in unemployment rate at the national level was driven by a 10-point month-on-month increment in Metro Manila, where the jobless rate went up to 40.9% in June. For the rest of Luzon, unemployment rate rose by 7 points from the previous month to 30.9% in June.

However, that was offset by 8-point sequential fall in jobless rate in Visayas to 21.3% and a 4-point decrease in Mindanao to 19.2%.

Among sexes, joblessness rose among women to 38.3% in June but fell among men to 19.8%, reinforcing observations that the pandemic is widening gender gaps by disproportionately hurting women, who are more likely to get laid off than their male counterparts from work. 

The latest SWS poll has sampling error margins of ±3% for national percentages and ±6% for Metro Manila, Balance Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao.




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