SWS survey finds more Pinoys jobless in Q3 | Inquirer News

SWS survey finds more Pinoys jobless in Q3

/ 04:26 AM November 24, 2019

Joblessness inched up in the third quarter of the year, according to a Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey released on Saturday.

The noncommissioned survey, conducted from Sept. 27 to Sept. 30 among 1,800 respondents, showed “adult joblessness” in the country rising to 21.5 percent (estimated at 10 million adults) from 20.7 percent (9.8 million) in June.

This 0.8-point rise was “due to increases in Balance Luzon, Mindanao and Metro Manila, combined with a decline in the Visayas,” SWS said.


Between June and September, joblessness increased from 24.3 percent to 24.5 percent in Metro Manila; from 21.7 percent to 25 percent in Luzon outside Metro Manila; and from 18.7 percent to 19.9 percent in Mindanao.


In the Visayas, joblessness decreased from 18.1 percent to 11.8 percent.

The survey had a margin of error of plus-or-minus 2.3 percentage points.

Weak gov’t spending

Sought for comment, Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia said in a text message: “I surmise [this resulted] from accumulation of weak government spending on infrastructure due to delayed 2019 budget plus Comelec [Commission on Elections] ban [on public works ahead of the midterm polls].”

Pernia also cited “lower private spending on real estate construction” as well as the entry of new graduates into the labor market in September.

The government is undertaking a spending catch-up program by fast-tracking the implementation of big-ticket infrastructure projects, which are also expected to generate more jobs.

According to the SWS survey, the jobless population in the third quarter consisted of 4.4 million adults (9.5 percent) who voluntarily left their jobs; 3.9 million (8.4 percent) who were retrenched and 1.6 million (3.5 percent) first-time jobseekers.


Gender gap

Among those who were retrenched, 2.7 million (5.8 percent) had contracts that ended and were no longer renewed; 621,000 (1.3 percent) who stopped working because their employers closed operations and 596,000 (1.3 percent) who were laid off.

Adult joblessness among women rose to 31.4 percent (6 million) in September, up 2.9 points from 28.5 percent (6.1 million) in June. Among men, joblessness rose to 14.6 percent (4 million) in September, up 0.3 points from 14.3 percent (3.7 million) in June.

This puts the Joblessness Rate Gender Gap, or the difference in the adult joblessness rate between women and men, at +16.8 in September from +14.2 in June.

“Adult joblessness has been consistently higher among women than among men,” SWS said.

The survey also noted that, compared to June, adult joblessness in September rose among all age groups except the 18-24 year-olds, the group in which adult joblessness is otherwise “consistently highest.”


When asked about their outlook on job availability in the next 12 months, 53 percent of the respondents were optimistic, saying there would be more jobs, while 13 percent were pessimistic and said there would be fewer jobs.

Those who said there would be no change in the job market accounted for 21 percent, and 12 percent said they “don’t know.”

The results yielded an optimism score of “excellent” +40, a three-point decrease from the record high +43 in June.

The terminology used by SWS for net optimism on job availability is as follows: +40 and above, “excellent”; +30 to +39, “very high”; +20 to +29, “high”; +10 to +19, “fair”; +1 to +9 “mediocre”; -9 to 0 “low”; -10 and below, “very low.”

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The pollster cited excellent scores “in only four observations” since November 1998—in December 2017 (+41), December 2018 (+40), and in June and September this year.—REPORTS FROM INQUIRER RESEARCH AND BEN O. DE VERA

TAGS: Employment, joblessness, survey, SWS

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