The number of jobless Filipinos slightly decreased in December last year in all areas except the Visayas, according to the latest survey conducted by the Social Weather Survey (SWS).
According to the Fourth Quarter 2021 SWS survey, the overall adult joblessness in the country eased to 24.7 percent in December last year, or 11 million jobless in December.
The resulting 25.7 percent average for 2021 is 11.7 points below the record-high 37.4 percent average for 2020 but still 5.9 points above the 19.8 percent average of 2019, before the Covid-19 pandemic.
The December 2021 survey found the Labor Force Participation Rate at 62.8 percent, or an estimated 44.5 million. It was 68 percent, or an estimated 48.2 million, in September 2021.
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.
Joblessness reached a catastrophic level of 45.5 percent in July 2020. It eased to 39.5 percent in September 2020, 27.3 percent in November 2020, and 25.8 percent in May 2021. It rose to 27.6 percent in June 2021 before easing to 24.8 percent in September 2021 and 24.7 percent in December 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.
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.
Joblessness fell in the Visayas from 22.6 percent in September 2021 to 16.7 percent in December 2021. However, it rose in Metro Manila from 33.6 percent in September 2021 to 34.1 percent in December 2021. It rose in Balance Luzon from 27.5 percent in September 2021 to 29.1 percent in December 2021. It also rose in Mindanao from 16.4 percent in September 2021 to 18.1 percent in December 2021.
The recalibration of government strategies against COVID-19 helped boost employment in the country, Malacañang said Friday.
Presidential Spokesperson and Communications Secretary Martin Andanar said in a statement that the decline in adult joblessness, as indicated in the Social Weather Stations (SWS) Dec. 12-16, 2021 survey released Thursday, proved the effectiveness of anti-coronavirus measures.
He said the Palace is expecting a further improvement, given the government’s concrete plans to sustain the country’s economic rebound.
The SWS poll showed that the average joblessness for 2021 is 25.7 percent, down by 11.7 percentage points from the record-high 37.4 percent average joblessness for 2020.