Record-low SWS joblessness rate affirms Aquino reform program—Palace
Malacañang welcomed the results of the latest Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey, which showed a drop in the number of jobless Filipinos.
The survey, which was conducted from December 5 to 8 among 1,200 respondents, showed that joblessness went down to 21.4 percent during the fourth quarter of 2015, from 23.7 percent in September last year.
The latest survey result brings the 2015 average joblessness rate to 21.9 percent, which was considered the lowest since 2004 when the average rate was at 15.8 percent.
“The SWS also reported an improvement in job market optimism. According to the survey, 45 percent of adults—up from 35 percent last September—expect the number of available jobs to increase over the next 12 months. Only 16% expect the opposite, down from 21 percent,” Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda said in a statement.
He added that the decrease meant that around 900,000 Filipinos found employment in the last quarter.
“This latest news again affirms our collective progress under ‘Daang Matuwid’ (Straight Path),” he said. “Over the past five and a half years, the Aquino administration has made significant strides not only in terms of economic growth but also toward greater inclusivity.”
Coloma agreed with Lacierda, saying: “Decline in joblessness and uptrend in optimism on job availability indicate that government efforts are gaining traction. This serves to spur greater efforts to implement skills training, skills matching and other job generation programs as well as intensified investment promotion for industry expansion.”
“Apart from successfully reaching a 6.2% six-year moving average of real GDP (gross domestic product) growth—the highest in 38 years, since 1978—the government continues to maximize our resources toward better citizen welfare, resulting in lower rates for self-rated poverty and hunger, and increased optimism,” Lacierda added.
He attributed the improved figures to programs implemented by agencies such as Department of Labor and Employment and Technical Education And Skills Development Authority, which help attract new investments and solve job-skills mismatch.
Lacierda ended his statement with an appeal to the public to ensure the continuity of the Aquino administration’s reform program.
The upcoming national elections in May will determine who will replace President Benigno Aquino III. Among the presidential candidates are Vice President Jejomar Binay, former secretary Manuel “Mar” Roxas II, Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte and Senators Grace Poe and Miriam Defensor-Santiago.
Roxas, the ruling Liberal Party’s presidential bet, has not been ranking well in electoral surveys.
Asked if the administration’s candidates will benefit from the improved joblessness rates, Coloma said: “Yes. Administration candidates are running on the basis of our record and we know that our Bosses will keep this in mind when they cast their votes.” RAM
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