Philippine Unemployment Rate Drops in First Quarter

MANILA, PHILIPPINES – A survey conducted by Social Weather Stations (SWS) showed that the number of unemployed Filipinos dropped in the first quarter of this year, the lowest under President Benigno Aquino III’s administration.

The SWS survey, which was conducted from 20 March to 23 March involving 1,200 respondents, discovered that unemployment rate in the Philippines dropped from 27 percent, or 12.4 million Filipinos, in the quarter ending December to 19.1 percent or 9 million in March.

The survey considers unemployed Filipinos as those who are 18 years old and above without a job and also looking for ajob.

SWS noted that joblessness has been above 20 percent since May 2005, except in March, 2006 (19.9 percent); December, 2007 (17.5 percent); and September, 2010 (18.9 percent).

Malacañang immediately welcomed the latest unemployment figure, which is the lowest during the term of President Benigno Aquino.

Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. attributed the good news to the administration’s “intensive job-generation efforts.”

“Government’s intensive job generations efforts have brought forth more productive opportunities, thereby reducing joblessness,” Coloma said.

“Skills training and job matching programs are also paying off,” he said.

The SWS survey showed that the number of unemployed Filipinos is composed mainly of adults who quit their jobs (7 percent or 3.2 million), were retrenched (8 percent or 3.7 million), and first-time job-seekers (4 percent or 2.1 million).

Meanwhile, hundreds of thousands of job vacancies will be available for Filipino job applicants in the various jobs fair that will be launched on Friday, Labor Day. –