2013 Philippine unemployment rate rises, above 11 million are jobless - SWS, IBON

Inspite of the gross domestic product (GDP) growth for 2012 and various economic reform programs of Aquino government for his three years in the Palace, Philippines is still have the worst unemployment rate in Asia. More than 11 million Filipinos are jobless according to SWS and IBON Foundation survey results on the first quarter of 2013.

SWS Survey results

Social Weather Stations (SWS) says 11.1 million Filipinos are jobless based on March 2013 survey -this translates to 25.4 percent unemployment among Filipinos aged 18 and above.

SWS noted that unemployment had been high since May 2005, going below 20 percent only thrice. The last time it did so was in September 2010, at 18.9 percent.
Dominating the breakdown of the jobless were those who quit at 12% while those who were retrenched was at 8%. The remaining 5% who were jobless were first-time jobseekers.

Among men, joblessness went up 2 points to 17.3% but hardly changed at 35.4 percent from 35.7 percent for women.

IBON Foundation research

IBON Foundation, a non-profit organization also released their separate research about the unemployment and underemployment status in the Philippines for 2013.

IBON estimates that the number of unemployed Filipinos increased by 48,000 to reach 4.4 million and the number of underemployed by 349,000 to reach 7.5 million in 2012 – for a total of 11.9 million unemployed and underemployed. The unemployment rate remained at 10.5% while the underemployment rate increased significantly to 20.0% from 19.3% the year before.

Philippines has an official unemployment rate of 7% for 2012. The country has the worst unemployment in East Asia compared for instance to Thailand (0.6%), Singapore (1.7%), Malaysia (3.0%), Korea (3.0%), China (4.1%), Taiwan (4.3%), Vietnam (4.4%), and Indonesia (6.5%).

IBON stressed that jobs situation has worsened because the Aquino administration has not changed the failed economic policies of past administrations, which have already resulted in over a decade of jobless growth in the country. The last decade has seen the fastest growth in the post-Marcos era, yet has also seen record joblessness and increasing numbers of poor Filipinos aside from severe inequality.   

Palace reacts on high unemployment rate

Malacañang on Thursday explains that peak in unemployment rate during the first quarter of 2013 is mainly attributed to the 'seasonal jobs' during the past holidays.

"May paliwanag po diyan ang mga ekonomista... Normally, marami pong temporary jobs for December. Alam po natin na panahon po iyan ng ka-Paskuhan kaya marami po tayong nakukuhang seasonal jobs," presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda said during the press briefing.

Lacierda said that the Aquino administration is already working to generate more jobs in three specific sectors: tourism, agriculture and infrastructure. It will continue to generate more jobs through infrastructure projects.


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