SWS says adult joblessness up, but optimism on future jobs high
Adult joblessness rate increased to 20.7 percent but net optimism on job availability shot to record-high based on a survey by Social Weather Stations (SWS) from June 22 to 26, 2019.
In a survey released on Friday, in June 2016 about 9.8 million of the adult labor force were jobless. The rate was one percentage point higher than the 19.7 percent or 9.4 million adults who were jobless in March 2019.
The proportion of jobless population were 11 percent or 5.2 million adults who voluntarily left their jobs, 6.5 percent or 3.1 adults who lost their jobs due to economic circumstances or retrenched, and 3.2 percent or at least 1.5 million adults who are first-time job seekers.
In a statement, Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo attributed the increase in jobless proportion as "seasonal."
"We attribute this uptick as 'seasonal' since data gathering was conducted when students just recently graduated from their universities or colleges and started looking for employment, with SWS including in the figure those seeking jobs for the first time," Panelo said.
Panelo said the government anticipated higher job availability optimism with the passing of new law for first-time job seekers.
"We expect this level of optimism to grow further especially with President Rodrigo Duterte's signing into law Republic Act 11261, popularly known as the First-Time Job seekers Assistance Act, last May 2019," he said.
Panelo said 1.4 million are expected to benefit annually, as government-issued documents and clearances are mandated to be waived for first-time job seekers.
According to SWS, those who were retrenched saw their contracts ended or no longer renewed (5.2 million adults), got laid off (522,000 adults), and had their previous employer closed operations (438,000 adults).
"Adult joblessness consist of (a) those seeking jobs for the first time, (b) those who voluntarily left their old jobs, (c) those who lost their jobs due to economic circumstances beyond their control, termed by the SWS as retrenched," the social research institution said.
The SWS survey also revealed excellent net optimist score among Filipinos on job availability outlook.
Using the question: "twelve months from now, do you think there will be more jobs, no change in available jobs, or fewer jobs," 55 percent believed there will be more jobs.
About 12 percent were pessimistic or thought there will be fewer jobs, 22 percent said there will be no change, and 11 percent are unsure.
"This gives a record-high Net Optimists score of +43 classified by SWS as excellent," it said.
The survey presented used face-to-face interviews of 1,200 adults with sampling error margins of ±3 percent for national percentages, and ±6 percent each for Metro Manila, Balance of Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao. Cristina Eloisa Baclig/DMS