However, the latest unemployment rate was four points higher than the 15.7 percent or 7.2 million adults registered in December 2017.
Cesar Ramirez
SWS: Self-rated unemployment drops in second quarter of 2018
Helen Flores (The Philippine Star) - September 14, 2018 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The number of unemployed Filipinos dropped by 2.3 million in the second quarter of the year, the latest Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey showed.

However, the latest unemployment rate was four points higher than the 15.7 percent or 7.2 million adults registered in December 2017.

Fewer Filipinos are also optimistic that there will more jobs in the next 12 months, the SWS poll showed.

The poll, taken from June 27 to 30, found adult joblessness at 19.7 percent or about 8.6 million adults, down 4.2 points from 23.9 percent or an estimated 10.9 million adults in March.

The jobless Filipinos in June are composed of those who voluntarily left their old jobs at 9.5 percent (about 4.2 million adults), those who involuntarily lost their jobs at 6.8 percent (around three million adults) and first-time job seekers at 3.4 percent (an estimated 1.5 million adults).

The proportion of those who resigned or left their old jobs voluntarily fell by 3.1 points, from 12.6 percent in March to 9.5 percent in June.

Those who were retrenched decreased by 0.9 point, from 7.7 percent in March to 6.8 percent in June.

The 6.8 percent who were retrenched consisted of four percent whose previous contracts were not renewed, 2.1 percent laid off and 0.7 percent whose employers closed operations.

Pessimism rises

Optimism that there will be more jobs was down by two points from 49 percent in March to 47 percent in June.

Pessimism that there will be fewer jobs, on the other hand, rose by three points from 12 percent to 15 percent.

The proportion of those who say there will be “no change” in job availability fell by a point from 25 percent in March to 24 percent in June.

The net optimism on job availability fell by five points from a very high +37 in March to +32, also classified as very high, in June.

Malacañang welcomed the decrease in unemployment, saying the lower rate reflected a strong economy.

“This proves that while we have a problem on inflation, the economy remains strong as evidenced by the reduction in joblessness,” presidential spokesman Harry Roque said at a press briefing yesterday. 

Roque said the survey result was consistent with the government’s labor force survey, which indicated that the July 2018 employment rate improved to 94.6 percent. 

The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) attributed the drop in the number of unemployed to the government’s infrastructure program.

‘”The Build Build Build program is gaining ground. Infrastructure and construction are becoming key employment generators,” Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said.

Bello said the Build Build Build program is expected to generate more jobs, particularly among construction workers.

Projection of mass displacement and surge in unemployment due to the implementation of the government tax reform program, Bello said, is unlikely due to the infrastructure program.

The proportion of first-time job seekers decreased by 0.1 point, from 3.5 percent in March to 3.4 percent in June.

By area, adult joblessness fell by 8.8 points in balance Luzon, from 28.1 percent in March 2018 to 19.3 percent in June.

It fell by 2.5 points in the Visayas, from 21.6 percent in March to 19 percent in June.

It hardly changed in Metro Manila, up by 0.4 point from 19 percent in March to 19.4 percent in June.

It barely changed in Mindanao, up by 0.4 point from 20.8 percent in March to 21.2 percent in June.

Adult unemployment also fell by 8.5 points in overall rural areas, from 24.8 percent in March to 16.2 percent in June.

It hardly moved in overall urban areas, up by 0.4 point from 22.8 percent in March to 23.2 percent in June.

Joblessness among women decreased by 7.8 points from 33.9 percent in March 2018 to 26.1 percent in June.

It hardly changed among men, declining by 0.5 point from 16.1 percent in March to 15.6 percent in June.

The unemployment rate also declined among all age groups except among those aged 25-34, the SWS said.

Joblessness fell by 8.7 points among 18 to 24 year olds, from 53.1 percent in March to 44.4 percent in June.

It decreased by 5.2 points among those 45 years old and above, from 17.4 percent in March to 12.2 percent in June.

It also fell by 1.6 points among 35- to 44-year olds, from 17.4 percent in March to 15.7 percent in June.

However, it rose by 2.5 points among 25- to 34-year olds, from 26.6 percent in March to 29.1 percent in June. It has been below 30 percent for four consecutive quarters, the SWS noted.

Adult joblessness fell by 7.1 points among non-poor families, from 24 percent in March 2018 to 16.9 percent in June 2018.

Among the self-rated poor, it decreased by 0.7 point from 23.7 percent in March to 23 percent in June. – With Mayen Jaymalin, Alexis Romero

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