Unemployment blamed on disasters


UNEMPLOYMENT worsened in January as thousands lost their jobs due to recent typhoons that hit the country, Malacañang said on Tuesday, pledging to find new ways to ease the problem.

Presidential Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said the number of people without jobs increased, boosting the labor force by 1.2 percent, while the number of jobs created during the period improved by only 0.8 percent, or 283,000 jobs.

The Palace official said they will introduce two new approaches to address the problem: promote employment opportunities in places of refuge and provide aid to jobseekers.

“We will take note that those mislocated were part of a migration wave from places of calamity to places of refuge, or to the towns and provinces adjacent to the disaster areas; and facilitate employability by assisting job applicants in reconstructing pre-employment documents,” Coloma told reporters.

He explained that victims of disasters such as those ravaged by Super Typhoon Yolanda in Eastern Visayas have difficulty in applying for work because documents required during application have all been destroyed.

“They find it difficult to produce documents that are normally required by employers such as transcript of records, birth certificate, and so on,” Coloma stressed.

“These are the practical needs that affect the employability of those searching for jobs that’s why we are focused on addressing the problem of unemployment which grew slightly because of previous calamities,” he added.

The National Statistics Office on Tuesday reported that jobless Filipinos who are part of the labor force rose in January from a year earlier.

The latest labor force survey (LFS) showed that the jobless rate in January stood at 7.5 percent, higher than the 7.1 percent recorded in the same period last year.

The 7.5 percent translates to 2.969 million jobless Filipinos, higher than the 2.776 million recorded a year earlier.

“The January result of the LFS is quite unique in that it comes as an aftermath of two extreme disasters in 2013. We are now observing the lingering effects of the disruptions caused by these disasters on the supply chains not only in disaster-affected areas but also in neighboring areas,” Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Arsenio Balisacan said.

“The devastation wrought by these disasters probably affected tourism and demand for leisure and wellness services,” Balisacan, who is also the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) director general, said.

Balisacan noted that for January labor figures, they did not include Region VIII, the major area affected by Super Typhoon Yolanda.

Ben Diokno, an economist at the University of the Philippines, said the unemployment figure for January was even “understated” because the survey did not cover the Central Visayas.

Diokno noted that a huge chunk of the unemployed consists of young people, mostly college graduates and undergraduates.

“The number of unemployed workers has increased to 2.96 million in January 2014 from 2.8 million in January 2013, or by 193,000 workers. A growing economy should be creating more jobs, not losing them,” he said.


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  1. Philppines keeps telling everyone that they are an emerging economy. Indeed, a growing economy should be creating more and more jobs. But why is Philippines losing more and more jobs? Why there are a tremendous increase in number of OFWs? Is it this nation’s goal to have millions of OFWs forever and ever? Do filipinos have to be OFWs forever? I feel that Philippines is travelling backwards. So sad!

  2. Akala ko ba ang mga nasalanta ang silang gagamitin sa pagre-rebuild at rehabilitate ng mga lugar na nasira ng mga kalamidad at babayaran sila. ‘Di ba dapat maging employed ang status nila? Baka naman ‘di binabayaran ang mga nagta-trabahong taga-roon sa kanilang lugar at pinapakain lang kaya ‘di nila tinututring na employed.

  3. What kind of hocus-pocus did our National Statistics Office use to arrive at 7.5% unemployment rate among Filipinos? Do they mean that our unemployment rate is just the same as in the US and Canada? Do they really think Filipinos are this stupid to believe their imagined unemployment rate?

    Assuming, without accepting, that our unemployment rate is just 7.5% (blame it to Typhoon Yolanda, yeah right!), why then is half of our population live below the poverty level? Why are millions of Filipinos hungry and living in slums? Why are 10 million OFWs still working abroad with thousands more departing monthly to look for works in foreign lands?

    The truth is unemployment in our country is many times over the 7.5% that the government wants us to believe. And most of the Filipinos who are employed earn only P300 to P1,000 daily, the equivalent of $0.75 to $2.50, while American and Canadian workers earn before tax $100 to about $300 daily. As my niece commented, in our country while businessmen and politicians get richer, the poor get poorer every day.

  4. eltee mulawin on

    >>>Si Mr. Coloma at amo niya sa Malakanyang sinisi ang Yolanda Typhoon kaya dumami ang bilang ng unemplyment sa bansa. Kailan ba hindi nawalan ng bagyo sa bansa? Nang panahon ni PGMA ay maraming bagyon nagdaan sa bansa, at isa rin sa naging dahilan karamihan sa infrastructure projectss ay nasalanta at natigil. Pero ang mga Opposition groups ay pilit na isinisisi at inalipusta si PGMA dahil wala raw mga tamang ginawa kundi nakawin ang pera ng bayan.
    Ngayon sila na ang nakapwesto, lumiit ba o nabawasan ang unemployment ng bansa? Sa bawat taon ilan beses mayroon “graduation” sa mga kolehiyo at universidad …2 x a year !! So ilan sa mga naka-graduate ang nabigyan ng trabaho sa bansa ng mga nagdaan at dinaan na taon? At ilan din ang nabigyan ng trabaho sa mga ilan taon ng walang trabaho?

    Huwag na ang trabaho ang pag-usapan, iyan na lang sweldo ng mga manggagawa at mga guro NAITAAS O NADAGDAGAN ba nang si Ngungoy Aquino maupo sa Malakanyang ? IYAN ANG ISA SA MGA PINAGSISIGAWAN NIYA NA GAGAWIN NOONG ELECTION CAMPAIGN 2009~2010.