THE number of Filipinos who did not have a job in the third quarter of 2016 declined to the lowest point in close to nine years, according to the latest Social Weather Stations (SWS) poll.
The results of the survey, which was first published in BusinessWorld, showed that the jobless rate fell to 18.4 percent, equivalent to 8.2 million adults without jobs.
This was 3.3 percentage points less than the 21.7 percent or about 10 million jobless adults recorded in the second quarter survey released in June, and the best since December 2007’s 17.5 percent.
The SWS poll involves “the population of adults in the labor force.” Those who have a job at present, and those without a job at present and looking for a job, are part of the labor force, the survey group explained.
In the third quarter, 8 percent or an estimated 3.6 million adults involuntarily left their jobs, while 7.4 percent or an estimated 3.3 million adults lost their jobs due to economic circumstances beyond their control.
Also, 1.4 million adults or 3.1 percent of the respondents were first-time job seekers.
SWS noted that 72 percent of the adult population or 44.7 million adults were in the labor force, 2.1 percentage points less than June’s 74.1 percent or an estimated 46 million adults.
The SWS results showed that net optimism on job availability soared to a “very high” +31. This was an 8-percentage-point increase from April’s “high” of +23.
The same sruvey found that 44 percent of Filipino adults were optimistic that the number of available jobs in the next 12 months would increase, while 28 percent said there would be no change in job availability. Thirteen percent said the number of jobs would decrease.
The survey, conducted from September 24 to 27, involved face-to-face interviews of 1,200 adults nationwide.
It had sampling error margins of plus or minus 3 percentage points for national percentages and plus or minus 6 percentage points for regional percentages.
The SWS classifies net optimism on job availability score of at least +30 as “very high”; +20 to +29, “high”; +10 to +19, “fair”; +1 to +9, “mediocre”; -9 to zero, “low”; and -10 and down as “very low.”