THE number of Filipinos without jobs rose in the second quarter of the year as pessimism on the prospects of finding employment next year also grew, according to a survey by the Social Weather Stations (SWS).
In its latest unemployment survey, the SWS found that the number of jobless Filipinos increased by 300,000.
The survey, held from June 27 to 30, 2014, showed that net optimism on job availability declined from +13 in March to +3 in June, the lowest level since May 2012.
The survey results showed an unemployment rate of 25.9 percent, equivalent to an estimated 11.8 million adults. The figure was up from the 25.7 percent or 11.5 million recorded in the first quarter.
The SWS said adult joblessness has been above 20 percent since May 2005, although it hit 19.9 percent in March 2006, 17.5 percent in December 2007 and 18.9 percent in September 2010.
The highest unemployment rate ever reached since SWS started doing the survey 20 years ago was 34.2 percent in February 2009.
The latest survey also showed that optimism on job availability fell by 10 points to a “mediocre” +3, from the “fair” +13 recorded in the first quarter.
Thirty-two percent (from 36 percent in the first quarter) of respondents said the number of available jobs in the next 12 months will increase, 29 percent (from 32 percent) said it would stay the same and 28 percent (from 23 percent) believe the number of positions available would decrease.
Adult joblessness was broken down into those who voluntarily left their old jobs (13.2 percent, up 1.8 points from March), were retrenched (8.8 percent, down 1.9 points) and first-time job seekers (3.6 percent, barely changed from 3.3 percent).
“Adult joblessness has traditionally been dominated by those who voluntarily left their old jobs and who lost their jobs due to economic circumstances beyond their control,” the SWS said.
By gender, joblessness among women rose by 2.1 points to 39.9 percent, the highest since the 42.5 percent recorded in August 2012, while joblessness among men fell 1.8 points to 14.7 percent, the lowest since the 14.3 percent recorded in June 2011.
By age group, joblessness “rose sharply” by 19.4 points among the youth to 62.8 percent in the second quarter, the highest since the 63.3 percent recorded in June 2008.
When asked about their expectations for the next 12 months, respondents who said there will be more jobs fell four points to 32 percent, those who said there will be fewer openings rose five points to 28 percent, while those who said there will be no change in job availability fell three points to 29 percent.
The survey polled 1,200 adults nationwide.
The poll had sampling error margins of ±3 percent for national percentages as well as ±6 percent for Metro Manila, Balance Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao
But Malacañang on Monday said the government continues to create more jobs and to ensure that those looking for jobs find the work appropriate for them.
According to Presidential Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr., the government will “continue to ensure that our people find employment.”
He said the government will implement strategies to increase jobs to cut the unemployment rate.
Strategies to create jobs and improve the poor’s access to basic services are outlined in the government’s updated economic blueprint dubbed as the Philippine Development Plan, Coloma added.
“[The government continues to strive to create many jobs, and not just jobs but] ‘highly remunerative jobs’ that will showcase the talents and ingenuity of the Filipino worker,” he said.