Local layoffs worry RP more

Published by rudy Date posted on March 7, 2009

22M women globally face retrenchments–ILO

Local job losses are outpacing the number of laid-off overseas Filipino workers (OFWs)—and causing greater worry for the government—the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) said Friday.

Also on Friday, the International Labor Organization reported that some 22 million jobs could be lost because of the global economic crisis.

“The problem is more on domestic compared to OFWs,” Dennis Arroyo, director of the NEDA’s national planning and policy staff told reporters.

Arroyo said that from October 2008 when the crisis started to March 4, some 42,000 domestic workers were laid off compared to 5,700 OFWs. “About 1,000 OFWs return every month. The return rate is the same level as in 2007.”

He added that the bulk of the laid- off OFWs came from Taiwan with 78.7 percent; United Arab Emirates, 5.6 percent; Canada, 3.4 percent; Macau, 2.9 percent; and Brunei, 2.3 percent.

But Arroyo said that the total displacements were offset by an increase in the number of deployed OFWs. “Despite the global crisis, an average of 3,000 OFWs still leave the country every day.”

He also said that there are opportunities in the US and Europe for Filipino nurses and teachers, adding that the Gulf countries are also responding to the global crisis by pump-priming their economies with infrastructure—and creating jobs.

“Low-tech” type of jobs would be in demand this year as the government hires more emergency employment through comprehensive livelihood and emergency employment program or (CLEEP), he added.

Earlier, Ralph Recto, Socioeconomic- Planning secretary and director general of the National Economic and Development Authority, said the government expects employment programs to generate 824,555 jobs this year.

“Work will be available in projects like fertilizer production, goat raising, and other productive home-based activities,” Recto explained. “This does not include the programs of the Department of Labor and Employment for displaced OFWs and for laid-off export workers.”

Women’s jobs at risk

Because of the global economic crisis, the number of unemployed women globally is expected to reach 22 million in 2009, according to a report released also on Friday by the International Labor Organization (ILO).

The annual report, titled “Global Employment Trends for Women,” stated that the job crisis would sharpen as the recession deepens this year, making it harder for women to land “decent work.”

Of the three billion people employed globally in 2008, 1.2 billion, or 40.4 percent were women, the report said. It added that as 2009 enters its second quarter, the projected global unemployment rate for women could reach 7.4 percent, higher relative to projected unemployed men of 7 percent.

According to the report, the gender impact of the global financial crisis would reflect more on women from most regions of the world, particularly in Latin America and the Caribbean. The only regions where the crisis might have lesser effect on women are East Asia, the developed economies and southeastern Europe, which even before the crisis hit had narrower gender gaps in terms of job opportunities.

Total employment falls

The report’s projection on the global labor market for 2009 shows a decline both in the employment rate of men and women, with total global unemployment rate possibly reaching between 6.3 percent and 7.1 percent.

But women employees are projected to have a slightly higher unemployment rate of 6.5 percent to 7.1 percent compared with men’s 6.1 percent to 7 percent, the ILO statement said.

The result would put the number between 24 million and 52 million unemployed worldwide, 10 million to 22 million of which are women.

In the same projection, the ILO reported that the global vulnerable employment rate in 2009 would also increase to a range of 50.5 percent to 54.7 percent for women, and from 47.2 percent to 51.8 percent for men. Although the vulnerability rate is higher for women, the crisis is affecting more men in the vulnerability level as it reflected a higher increase in percentage from the 2007 figure, the ILO reported.

Vulnerable employment refers to jobs most workers could lose because of the crisis. Some of the reported industries allegedly affected deeply by the financial crunch are electronics, garments and automotives.
–Darwin G. Amojelar And Bernice Camille V. Bauzon, Manila Times

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