Latest Stories

1M join ranks of jobless Filipinos

Joblessness in the country worsened in the first quarter of the year, the latest Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey found, with an economist tracing the rise in unemployment rate to fresh graduates joining the labor pool.

Filipino adults without jobs numbered 11.1 million, up 10 percent from the 10.1 million recorded at the end of 2012, results of the survey that SWS conducted from March 19 to 22 showed.

The nationwide survey used 1,200 face-to-face interviews and had a margin of error of plus-or-minus three percentage points.

SWS said the unemployment rate rose to 25.4 percent in the first three months of the year from the 24.6 percent last December.

“The first quarter unemployment rate particularly in March is high. It becomes a problem if it will persist beyond the first quarter. This means that GDP growth cannot generate employment which means jobless growth,” Cid L. Terosa of the University of Asia and the Pacific said in a text message.

The unemployed included those who had resigned from their jobs (12 percent), had been retrenched (8 percent), or those joining the throngs of job-seekers for the first time (5 percent, rounded off).

Of those retrenched, 6 percent did not have their contracts renewed.

Christmas temporary jobs

Malacañang said the rise in unemployment rate from December to March was due to “temporary jobs” created during the Christmas season.

“Normally, you will have temporary jobs for December. That’s seasonal… So, we get many seasonal jobs for that,” said presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda at a briefing in the Palace.

But he said the government was creating jobs in three areas: tourism, agriculture and infrastructure.

Asked if the growing number of unemployed Filipinos was not worrisome to the administration, Lacierda said: “We want to make sure that we have more jobs for our people. That’s a thrust and a commitment from this government to our Filipino people.”

Since May 2005, the unemployment rate has been more than 20 percent except for three instances—19.9 percent in March 2006, 17.5 percent in December 2007 and 18.9 percent in September 2010, SWS data showed.

Unemployment definition

The SWS definition of unemployment covers respondents aged 18 and above who are “without a job at present and looking for a job.” This excludes those not looking for work such as housewives, students and retired or disabled persons.

The definition is different from the official definition in the Labor Force Survey (LFS), which includes persons 15 years and over and who are reported “not working, looking for work and available.”

The government’s latest LFS puts the level of unemployment in the country at 7.1 percent in January or equivalent to 2.89 million, up from 6.8 percent or 2.76 million in October 2012.

Amid the higher unemployment rate, SWS said 34 percent of the respondents expected that there would be more jobs in the next 12 months. Twenty-one percent expected fewer jobs and 28 percent believed the number of available jobs would remain the same.

Unemployment among women barely moved (from 35.7 to 35.4 percent) while it picked up among men (from 15.3 percent to 17.3 percent).

By age group, joblessness was highest among those in the 18-24 age group (from 47.6 percent to 49.6 percent) followed by the 25-34 bracket (from 32.8 percent to 31.8 percent), the 35-44 group (from 20 percent to 23 percent) and the 45 and up (from 15.5 percent to 15.8 percent). Reports from Ana Roa, Inquirer Research and Michael Lim Ubac

Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter

Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: Filipinos , joblessness , Poverty , SWS survey

Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
  1. 12 senators on Napoles ‘pork’ list, says Lacson
  2. Save the queen? Aide takes fall for Enrile, Gigi Reyes
  3. Palace prepared to charge its allies
  4. Senator’s kickback from pork bigger than those of Enrile, Estrada, Revilla – Lacson
  5. Napoles turnaround alarms whistle-blowers
  6. What Went Before: Malacañang allies alleged involvement in pork scam
  7. Napoles spills beans on Enrile, Estrada, Revilla – De Lima
  8. Timeline: Napoles tell-all
  9. HK apology: Why Estrada and not Aquino?
  10. Cedric Lee’s cohort flies out of PH despite look-out order – De Lima
  1. Napoles spills beans on Enrile, Estrada, Revilla – De Lima
  2. Gigi Reyes pins blame on aide
  3. Estrada: Gigi Reyes won’t testify vs JPE
  4. Bernice Lee arrested by NBI team
  5. Enrile chief aide back in PH ‘to face charges’
  6. ‘No real progress in PH if dynasties not dismantled’
  7. Suspect in Vhong Navarro’s mauling wants to turn state witness – De Lima
  8. Reckless driver endangered lives of Aquino, entourage–report
  9. More legal woes for Cedric Lee
  10. Henares on Pacquiao bashing: I did not start this
  1. KL confirms Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370 ended in Indian Ocean
  2. MRT passengers pass the hat for 6-year-old Ashley
  3. Rookie, lady cops lauded for quick response to MOA heist
  4. Malaysia averts another air tragedy; pilot lands troubled plane safely
  5. Revilla says he was joking; Lacson stands by his story
  6. Revilla ‘consulted’ Lacson on how he evaded arrest
  7. Cudia, dismissed for lying, got 99% in conduct
  8. Kim Henares needs a reprimand, says Cayetano
  9. Hammer-wielding robbers cause chaos at Philippines’ Mall of Asia
  10. Napoles spills beans on Enrile, Estrada, Revilla – De Lima


  • Scientists eye iceberg bigger than Guam
  • Drilon: I’m not on Napoles’ list
  • Sonar finds 1888 San Francisco shipwreck
  • Santiago: Enrile, Lacson, Reyes plotting massive psywar operation
  • Poe, Cayetano to colleagues: Shun formalities, let’s hear Napoles’ tell-all ASAP
  • Sports

  • Promoters Dela Hoya, Arum in talks for Pacquiao-Alvarez—report
  • Benzema guides Madrid to 1-0 win over Bayern
  • Suns’ Goran Dragic win NBA’s Most Improved Player award
  • Heat go up 2-0, hold off Bobcats 101-97
  • Ronaldo shakes off injury fears to play Bayern
  • Lifestyle

  • This woman ate what?
  • Photos explore dynamics of youths’ sexual identity
  • 12th Philippine Food Expo set at the World Trade Center
  • No tourist draw, Malang the croc will remain wild
  • The best flavors of summer in one bite, and more
  • Entertainment

  • What Garcia Marquez left behind
  • Has Ai Ai fallen deeply with ‘sireno?’
  • Sony developing live-action Barbie comedy
  • California court won’t review Jackson doctor case
  • Return of ‘Ibong Adarna’
  • Business

  • How ‘one percent’ economic elite was uncovered
  • Facebook profits triple as mobile soars
  • Insular Honors Sales Performers at Testimonial Rites
  • Apple increases stock buyback, will split stock
  • Cost-recovery provisions for affected gencos urged
  • Technology

  • Enrile in Masters of the Universe, Lord of the Rings?
  • Top Traits of Digital Marketers
  • No truth to viral no-visa ‘chronicles’
  • ‘Unlimited’ Internet promos not really limitless; lawmakers call for probe
  • Viber releases new design for iPhone, comes to Blackberry 10 for the first time
  • Opinion

  • Editorial cartoon, April 24, 2014
  • Talking to Janet
  • Respite
  • Bucket list
  • JPII in 1981: walking a tightrope
  • Global Nation

  • Embassy advisory: Filipinos still need visas to enter US
  • No travel restriction to Mideast, DFA clarifies
  • PH-HK relations repaired, but families of victims still being courted
  • Filipinos in Middle East urged to get clearance before returning
  • PH seeks ‘clearer assurance’ from US
  • Marketplace