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Jobless rate up to 7.1%

/ 03:54 AM September 16, 2011

The jobless rate slightly worsened in July against the same month last year, according to the July 2011 Labor Force Survey which the National Statistics Office (NSO) released on Thursday.

The NSO report said the number of unemployed persons in July 2011 was estimated at 2.8 million, translating to an unemployment rate of 7.1 percent.

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Last year’s estimated unemployment rate was 7 percent, with almost 2.71 million unemployed.

There were more males (62.6 percent) than females (37.4 percent) in the ranks of the unemployed.

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More than half, or 53.1 percent, of unemployed Filipinos were in age group 15 to 24 years.

One-third, or 33.6 percent, were high school graduates, 21.8 percent were college undergraduates, and 20.8 percent were college graduates.

According to the labor survey, there were about 37.1 million Filipinos employed in July 2011, which translates to an employment rate of 92.9 percent.

The employment rate in the same period last year was 93 percent, the NSO said.

Job creation is urgent, according Rene E. Ofreneo of the School of Labor and Industrial Relations at University of the Philippines.

He said government also needed to crack down on industries which are not in crisis and yet push workers to do excessive overtime work without pay.

“I am referring to the hospital industry and fastfood industry which take advantage of the large supply of unemployed nursing and HRM (hotel and restaurant management) graduates, who are hired as interns or trainees,” said Ofreneo.

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The services sector made up the majority of the estimated 37.1 million employed persons in July 2011, accounting for more than half (52.2 percent) of the total, the NSO said.

Around one-third (32.6 percent) of the employed were in the agriculture sector and the rest (15.2 percent) were in the industry sector.

Among the various occupation groups, laborers and unskilled workers comprised the largest group, making up 32.6 percent of the total employed population. It was also the largest occupation group in July 2010 (31.8 percent).

Farmers, forestry workers and fishermen were the second largest group of workers, accounting for 15.2 percent of the total employed.

Employed persons who expressed the desire to have additional hours of work in their present job or to have an additional job, or to have a new job with longer working hours, are considered underemployed.

The number of underemployed persons in July 2011 was estimated at 7.1 million, placing the underemployment rate at 19.1 percent.

The NSO said that more than half (55.8 percent) of the total underemployed were reported as visibly underemployed or working less than 40 hours during the reference week. Those working for 40 hours or more accounted for 42.7 percent. Most of the underemployed were working in the agriculture sector (43.7 percent) and services sector (40.7 percent).

The underemployed in the industry sector accounted for 15.7 percent.

Across regions, Cagayan Valley had the highest employment rate at 97.6 percent, followed by the Zamboanga Peninsula (96.7 percent), the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao or ARMM (96.3 percent) and Mimaropa (96.2 percent).

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TAGS: jobless rate, Labor Force Survey, National Statistics Office, Unemployment
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