Ranks of jobless adults shrinking

ADULT joblessness in the third quarter of 2017 went down to 18.9 percent or an estimated 8.7- million adults—the lowest recorded joblessness rate since the 18.4 percent recorded in September 2016, according to the latest survey of Social Weather Stations.

The September 2017 adult joblessness rate was 3.3 points below the 22.2 percent rate in June 2017 or 10.5 million adults that consisted of those who voluntarily left their old jobs at 10.4 percent (est. 4.8-million adults), those who involuntarily lost their jobs at 6.6 percent (est. 3.1-million adults), and first-time job seekers, at 1.9 percent (est. 860,000 adults).

The adult labor force participation rate was at 73.1 percent or an estimated 46.1-million adults. This was a 1.6-percent decrease from the 74.7 percent (est. 47.1-million adults) labor force participation rate in June 2017.

Optimism that there will be more jobs, however, decreased by 1 point from 46 percent in June 2017 to 45 percent in September 2017, while pessimism that there will be fewer jobs rose by 3 points from 15 percent in June to 18 percent in September.  Net Optimism on Job Availability score is down from high +28 in September 2017. 

The survey, conducted from September 23 to 27, was conducted among 1,500 adults with sampling error margins at ±3 percent for national percentages. 

On Tuesday, the Philippine Statistics Authority said the unemployment rate rose to 5 percent of the labor force in October from 4.7 percent a year ago, but the ranks of the underemployed sank to a 10-year low.

According to official data, the areas with the highest unemployment rates were the Ilocos Region (8.2 percent), National Capital Region (6.1 percent),and Central Luzon (6.0 percent).

Unemployment actually describes workers who do not have jobs but who want jobs and are actively seeking jobs. 

Workers who are laid off or who quit their jobs but do not seek a new job are not considered unemployed if they don’t keep looking for work, according to economists. 

Underemployment, on the other hand, is a measure of employment and labor utilization in the economy that looks at how well the labor force is being utilized in terms of skills, experience and availability to work. 

This is different from unemployment in that the individual is working but is not working at his full capability, according to economists. 

Underemployment posted its lowest rate in more than 10 years, a reflection that the country’s decent work agenda is moving forward, the National Economic and Development Authority said Tuesday.

In the October 2017 Labor Force Survey of the Philippine Statistics Authority, a Neda-attached agency, the underemployment rate or the proportion of those employed wanting additional work hours declined to or was recorded at 15.9 percent in October 2017.This is lower by 2.1 percentage points from the 18.0 percent recorded in 2016. That rate represents approximately 893,000 less underemployed workers.

Topics: Ranks of jobless adults shrinking , job fair

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