Despite a nine-year high in the rate of inflation last month, the Palace said Thursday the economy remains in good shape, even as the Social Weather Stations reported a four-point drop in the joblessness rate in the second quarter of 2018.
Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque said the joblessness of 19.7 percent in June was four points lower than the 23.9 percent in March.
“The result only goes to show that even though we have problems with inflation, our economy continues to strengthen as evidenced by the reduction in joblessness,” said Roque.
“This is consistent with the recently released government data from the Labor Force Survey of the Philippines Statistics Authority, which indicates that the July 2018 employment rate improved to 94.6 percent,” Roque said.
“This PSA figure, we reiterate, is the highest in the last 10 years among previous July rounds, as per the National Economic and Development Authority,” he added.
In its own survey, the SWS said the 19.7 percent joblessness rate translates to about 8.6 million adults. This compared to about 11 million in March.
“The June 2018 adult joblessness rate consisted of those who voluntarily left their old jobs at 9.5 percent [4.2 million adults], those who involuntarily lost their jobs at 6.8 percent [3 million adults], and first-time job seekers at 3.4 percent [1.5 million adults],” SWS said.
SWS also found the adult labor force participation rate experienced a 3-point decrease, at 68.3 percent or an estimated 43.8 million adults.
SWS’ adult joblessness data refers to adults in the labor force. Those with a job at present, plus those without a job at present and looking for a job, are included in the labor force.
“Adult joblessness fell by 8.8 points in Balance Luzon, from 28.1 percent in March 2018 to 19.3 percent in June 2018,” said SWS. “It also fell by 2.5 points in the Visayas, from 21.6 percent in March to 19 percent in June.”
The pollster said the joblessness rate hardly changed in Metro Manila, up by 0.4 points, from 19 percent in March to 19.4 percent in June.
It also hardly changed in Mindanao, up by 0.4 points from 20.8 percent in March to 21.2 percent in June.
Adult joblessness fell by 8.5 points in overall rural areas, from 24.8 percent in March 2018 to 16.2 percent in June 2018. Meanwhile, it hardly moved in overall urban areas, up by 0.4 points from 22.8 percent in March to 23.2 percent in June.
The June 2018 Social Weather Survey was conducted from June 27-30, 2018 using face-to-face interviews of 1,200 adults nationwide.
The pollster interviewed 300 adults each in Metro Manila, Balance Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao which had sampling error margins of ±3 percent for national percentages, and ±6 percent each for Metro Manila, Balance Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao.