NSO: More Pinoys jobless, unemployment rate at 7.4%

Published by rudy Date posted on March 16, 2011

MANILA, Philippines –  More Filipinos are jobless this year.

Results of the National Statistics Office’s (NSO) Labor Force Survey yesterday showed that the number of unemployed people in the country totaled to 2.91 million in January this year from 2.82 million in the same period last year. Overall unemployment rate stands at 7.4 percent this year.

Despite the bigger unemployment figure, the Department of Labor and Employment maintained that employment prospects remained bright for new entrants to the labor force.

Nicon Fameronag, DOLE’s Labor Communication Office (LCO) director, said the government has already intensified programs to facilitate employment for new college graduates as well as other jobseekers.

“We have been publicizing in advance the schedule of job fairs so we could facilitate on-the-spot employment and DOLE is also coming out soon with results of job mapping to help jobseekers in finding jobs,” Fameronag noted.

“The job mapping is very specific because it would identify where and what the available jobs are in each region so that jobseekers need not go to a city to look for employment,” he said.

He added that DOLE is closely working with various foreign chambers of commerce so that available jobs can be immediately posted in the DOLE’s website.

He said DOLE’s philjobnet has posted about 60,000 local and overseas jobs and the number of employment opportunities is still growing.

Just recently, Fameronag said, the Atlantic, Gulf and Pacific Co. of Manila (AG&P) sought the assistance of DOLE in recruiting new workers to fill current and future vacancies in the company.

Fameronag said DOLE has also gone to the grassroots in extending job facilitation services to jobseekers nationwide.

Based on the results of the latest NSO survey, there were more unemployed males (62.7 percent of all unemployed) than females (37.3 percent). Almost half (48.9 percent) of the unemployed were in age group 15-24 years.

More than a third (35.1 percent) of the unemployed were high school graduates, and 39.1 percent reached college.

NSO chief Carmencita Ericta said the same survey indicated that the total number of underemployed or those already employed, but still desiring additional jobs went down by less than one percent to seven million.

The underemployed in the agriculture sector accounted for 44.8 percent of the total underemployed. It was 40.4 percent in the services sector and 14.8 percent in the industry sector.

But Ericta said the number of employed people during the covered period slightly grew by about 300,000 to a total of 36.29 million from last year’s 36 million.

According to Ericta, the regions that posted high employment rates in January this year were Cagayan Valley and Zamboanga Peninsula, each registering a rate of 96.9 percent; SOCCSKSARGEN, 96.8 percent; Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), 96.1 percent, and MIMAROPA, 95.7 percent.

The National Capital Region (NCR), on the other hand, recorded the lowest employment rate at 88.0 percent.

Of the estimated 36.3 million employed persons in January 2011, the services sector was the largest group comprising more than half (52.5 percent) of the total employed population.

Wholesale and retail trade, repair of motor vehicles, motorcycles and personal and household goods posted the biggest number of employed at 20.0 percent.

Workers in the agriculture sector accounted for 32.9 percent of the total employed, with those engaged in the agriculture, hunting and forestry making up the largest sub-sector at 29 percent of the total employed. Only 14.5 percent of the total employed were in the industry sector, with the manufacturing sub-sector making up the largest at 8.1 percent of the total.

More than half or 54.7 percent of the total employed population in January 2011 represented wage and salary workers, with the largest percentage (40.9 percent) working for private establishments while family workers accounted for 11.3 percent of the total employed.

Of the total employed persons in January, 62.4 percent were working full time while 36.3 percent were part-time workers.

With a not-so-ideal employment picture, the government is still hoping to send more Filipino nurses and other workers to disaster-stricken Japan.

Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) chief Carlos Cao Jr. expressed belief yesterday that employment opportunities for Filipino nurses and caregivers in Japan remained bright despite the deadly earthquake and tsunami that hit the country recently. –Mayen Jaymalin (The Philippine Star)

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