Jobless Pinoys now 11.3 M

Published by rudy Date posted on May 24, 2011

MANILA, Philippines – The number of unemployed Filipinos rose by 1.4 million to 11.3 million in March from 9.9 million in November last year, according to the latest survey by polling firm Social Weather Stations (SWS).

This is a 3.7 percentage point increase to the unemployment rate of 27.2 percent in March from 23.5 percent in the previous quarter. On a year-on-year comparison, the unemployment rate rose a tenth of a percentage point in March from 27.1 percent in March 2010. SWS conducted face-to-face interviews on 1,200 representative adults aged 18 years old and above from March 4 to 7.

The latest National Statistics Office’s Labor Force Survey showed that the country’s unemployment rate rose to 7.4 percent (2.9 million) in January from 7.3 percent (2.8 million) in the same period last year.

SWS said unemployment has been high since May 2005. It fell below 20 percent only three times—the last time was in September 2010 when the rate was 18.9 percent.

The two surveys conducted by SWS showed that adult unemployment was primarily composed of those who quit their jobs or were retrenched.

Nine percent of the present unemployment rate were composed of people who had lost their jobs while 10 percent had voluntarily left work. Seven percent were first-time jobseekers.

Of the nine percent who lost their jobs, seven percent did not get their contracts renewed, one percent belonged to companies that stopped operating, and one percent were laid off.

SWS defines unemployed persons as those who are “not working and at the same time looking for work.”

Since 2005, the official definition of unemployment has been persons who are disposed to work and are actively looking for employment.

Not included in the definition are persons available for work but are not actively seeking jobs for reasons such as tiredness/belief no job is available, awaiting results of an application, temporary illness/disability, bad weather and waiting for rehire/recall.

The SWS survey, published in the newspaper BusinessWorld yesterday, has sampling error margins of plus or minus three percentage points for national and plus or minus six percentage points for area percentages. –Helen Flores (The Philippine Star)

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