SWS: Q4 joblessness drops to 7.2M adults

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ADULT JOBLESSNESS in the fourth quarter of 2017 dropped 3.2 points to 15.7% or an estimated 7.2 million adults, compared with 18.9% or an estimated 8.7 million adults in September last year, the Social Weather Stations (SWS) found in its Fourth Quarter 2017 Social Weather Survey.

SWS: Q4 joblessness drops to 7.2M adults

SWS said this is the lowest recorded joblessness rate since the 9.8% in March 2004.

The joblessness rate among adults, categorized by SWS as being at least 18 years old, consisted of those who voluntarily left their old jobs at 8.3% (est. 3.8 million adults), those who involuntarily lost their jobs at 5.9% (est. 2.7 million adults), and first-time job seekers, at 1.5% (est. 691,000 adults).

These categories constituted the survey’s profile of the jobless, as opposed to the official Labor Force Survey which pegs the employed at 15 years old and above, among other conceptual differences with the definitions of employment by the Philippine Statistics Authority.

SWS said the proportion of those who resigned or left their old jobs voluntarily fell by 2.1 points, from 10.4% in September to 8.3% in December 2017.

Those who were retrenched declined by 0.7 points, from 6.6% in September to 5.9% in December. The 5.9% who were retrenched consisted of 4% whose previous contracts were not renewed, 0.8% who were laid off, and 1.1% whose employers closed operations, SWS noted.

The proportion of first-time job seekers decreased by 0.4 points, from 1.9% in September to 1.5% in December.

Adult joblessness among men decreased by 5.9 points from 13.5% in September to 7.6% in December 2017. SWS noted that this is lowest figure among men since the 8.8% in March 2004.

Among women, adult joblessness slightly rose by 0.2 points from 26.5% in September to 26.7% in December.

Among the 18-24 year olds, adult joblessness fell by 5.2 points from 50.2% in September to 45% in December 2017. However, it rose by 2.6 points among the 25-34 year olds, from 21.3% in September to 23.9% in December.

Joblessness decreased by 2.1 points among the 35-44 year olds, from 12.8% in September to 10.7 in December. It fell by 5.3 points among those 45 years old and above, from 13.8% in September to 8.5% in December.

Optimism that there will be more jobs increased by 8 points from 45% in September 2017 to 53% in December 2017, and pessimism that there will be fewer jobs declined by 6 points from 18% in September to 12% in December. The proportion of those who say there will be no change in job availability fell by 3 points from 27% in September to 24% in December.

This upgrades the Net Optimism on Job Availability score (% more jobs minus % fewer jobs) by 13 points from a high +28 in September to a new record-high excellent +41 in December 2017. This surpassed the previous record of high +37 in December 2016.

(The SWS terminology for Net Optimism on job availability: +40 and above, “Excellent”; +30 to +39, “Very High”; +20 to +29, “High”, +10 to +19, “Fair”; +1 to +9 “Mediocre”; –9 to 0 “Low”; –10 and below, “Very Low.”)

The survey was conducted from Dec. 8-16, 2017, using face-to-face interviews of 1,200 adults nationwide: 300 each in Metro Manila, Balance Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao (sampling error margins of ±3% for national percentages, and ±6% each for Metro Manila, Balance Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao).