MANILA � The country's adult joblessness rate decreased for the second consecutive quarter, according to the latest Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey.
The first quarter 2019 SWS survey, conducted from March 28 to 31, 2019, found the joblessness rate at 19.7 percent or an estimated 9.4 million of the adult labor force which is 1.4 point lower than the 21.1 percent or estimated 9 million adults in December 2018.
Adult joblessness, according to the pollster, refers to those seeking jobs for the first time, those who voluntarily left their old jobs, and those who lost their jobs due to economic circumstances beyond their control.
This marks the second consecutive quarter where there has been a decrease in the proportion of adults in the labor force who are jobless, the SWS said.
The adult joblessness rate in September 2018 was at 22 percent or estimated 9.8 million adults.
Of the 19.7 percent, 9.4 percent (est. 4.5 million adults) voluntarily left their jobs, 7.6 percent (est. 3.6 million adults) were retrenched, and 2.7 percent (est. 1.3 million adults) are first-time job seekers, according to SWS.
It also showed that the labor force grew to 71.4 percent or an estimated 47.6 million adults, which is 5.2 points above the 66.2 percent or an estimated 42.4 million adults in December 2018.
Labor force, defined by SWS, are those who either have a job at present, or, in addition, those without a job at present but are looking for one.
The 47.6 million adult labor force consists of 58.1 percent (est. 27.7 million adults) males and 41.9 percent (est. 20.0 million adults) females, the SWS said.
Joblessness decreased from 27 percent to 21 percent in Metro Manila and from 26 to 15 percent in Mindanao but increased from 19 percent to 21 percent in Balance of Luzon and from 16 percent to 18 percent) in Visayas.
There is still higher joblessness among women at 30 percent (est. 6.0 million adults) compared to men at 12 percent (est. 3.4 million). In addition, joblessness has been consistently highest among the 18 to 24-year olds compared to other age groups.
MalacaAang welcomed the survey result showing a continuous decrease in adult joblessness, emphasizing President Rodrigo Duterte's resolve to score better in employment generation.
The President considers labor as one of the engines that will propel further the country's growth and development, said Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo in a statement on Wednesday.
This comes after the President signed into law the First-time Jobseekers Assistance Act (R.A. 11261), which waives government fees and charges in the issuance of documents required in the application of first-time jobseekers, he added.
Panelo, meanwhile, assured that government will continue to create jobs by attracting more foreign investments and promoting good governance as more Filipinos join the workforce.
Source: Philippines News Agency