Unemployment rate slightly down to 24.7% — SWS
MANILA, Philippines — The number of jobless Filipinos as of December 2021 slightly declined to 11 million, the latest Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey showed, but noted that the adult joblessness rate rose in all areas except the Visayas.
According to the Fourth Quarter 2021 SWS survey, the overall adult joblessness in the country eased to 24.7 percent in December last year.
This is the “lowest” adult joblessness rate since the 17.5 percent recorded in the same period in 2019.
This is also slightly down from the 24.8 percent or 11.9 million recorded in September 2021, according to the survey, which was released on Thursday.
The 24.7-percent joblessness rate of around 11 million was recorded from the survey held from December 12 to 16, 2021.
The survey was conducted using face-to-face interviews of 1,440 adults aged 18 and above nationwide, or 360 each in Balance Luzon, Metro Manila, the Visayas, and Mindanao.
Meanwhile, the SWS found the country’s labor force participation rate at 62.8 percent, or an estimated 44.5 million.
In September 2021, it was at 68 percent, or an estimated 48.2 million.
The SWS defines labor force as adults aged 18 and above looking for a job while the labor force participation rate is the proportion of adults in the labor force.
“The jobless consist of those who (a) voluntarily left their old jobs, (b) are seeking jobs for the first time, or (c) lost their jobs due to economic circumstances beyond their control,” the SWS said.
The SWS recalled how joblessness “reached a catastrophic level” of 45.5 percent in July 2020, or several months after the COVID-19 pandemic broke out.
It eased to 39.5 percent in September 2020, 27.3 percent in November, and 25.8 percent in May 2021.
It rose again to 27.6 percent in June 2021 before easing to 24.8 percent in September 2021 and 24.7 percent in December 2021.
Unemployment up in all areas except the Visayas
The SWS survey, meanwhile, showed that adult joblessness “stayed highest” in Metro Manila at 34 percent followed by Balance Luzon at 29 percent, Mindanao at 18 percent, and the Visayas at 17 percent.
“The slight decline in the national joblessness rate between September 2021 to December 2021 was due to a decrease of 5.9 points in the Visayas, combined with increases of 0.4 points in Metro Manila, 1.6 points in Balance Luzon, and 1.7 points in Mindanao,” the SWS explained.
It said that joblessness decreased in the Visayas from 22.6 percent in September 2021 to 16.7 percent in December 2021.
But joblessness rose in Metro Manila from 33.6 percent in September 2021 to 34.1 percent in December 2021, according to the SWS.
It rose in Balance Luzon from 27.5 percent in September 2021 to 29.1 percent in December 2021 while joblessness in Mindanao climbed from 16.4 percent in September 2021 to 18.1 percent in December 2021.
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