Half of unemployed Filipinos not looking for work, survey showsBy Philip C. Tubeza
Philippine Daily Inquirer
MANILA, Philippines—Is Juan Tamad (term for the lazy Filipino) still around?
A little more than half of the 2.8 million unemployed Filipinos in the country last year were not looking for work at the time the survey was made, according to the Bureau of Labor and Employment Statistics (BLES).
In its latest Labor Force Survey, the bureau said 50.7 percent of the 2.814 million unemployed Filipinos in 2011 did not try to get employment for various reasons.
“Those who believed that no work is available (28.4 percent), waiting for results of previous job application (27.3 percent) and waiting for rehire/job recall (29.2 percent) mostly comprised the 1.428 million who did not look for work,” the BLES said.
“Of the 1.386 million unemployed who did look for work, the leading job search methods were direct application to employer (36.7 percent), through relatives or friends (31.8 percent) and registration in public or private employment agencies (23.5 percent),” it added.
The bureau said only 6.2 percent or 86,000 Filipinos went to public employment agencies while the average duration of job search was 5.1 weeks.
“Unemployed men made up more than three-fifths (63.0 percent) of the total 2.8 million. More than half (50.4 percent) were young persons aged 15-24 years old, almost all of whom were not currently attending school,” the bureau added.
BLES said 45.8 percent of the unemployed were in their prime age (25-54 years old) while a small percentage of them (3.8 percent) were elderly (55 and over).
“More than two-thirds were single while more than one-fourth were married. Most of the unemployed were not heads of their households (86.7 percent),” the bureau said.
“The unemployed were largely educated as 87.1 percent had reached high school or college. Combined together, high school graduates (33.5 percent) and college graduates (20.2 percent) totaled more than half of the unemployed,” it added.
BLES said slightly more than half of the unemployed were in the National Capital Region, or Metro Manila (20.1 percent), Central Luzon (12.7 percent) and Calabarzon (17.8 percent).
“These three (regions) posted unemployment rates of 11.3 percent, 8.5 percent and 9.7 percent, respectively, which were higher than the national average of 7 percent,” the bureau said.
It also noted that about eight out of every 10 unemployed had been previously employed while 9 percent looked for work for the first time.
“These first-time unemployed (who numbered 252,000) together with those employed for the first time (576,000) comprised the 828,000 new entrants to the labor force in 2011,” BLES said.
It said that there were 2.166 million unemployed who had work experience while almost three-fifths of them used to be laborers and unskilled workers (35.1 percent) and service workers and shop and market sales workers (23.2 percent).
“Unemployment rates have remained at one-digit level since 2005. On an annual average, it went down from 8 percent in 2006 to its latest lowest point at 7 percent in 2011, which is within the 6.8-7.2 percent annual target of the 2011-2016 Philippine Development Plan,” BLES said.