Jobless rate inches up in July
MANILA, Philippines—Joblessness slightly worsened in July from the same month last year, according to the July 2011 Labor Force Survey, which the National Statistics Office (NSO) released on Thursday.
The NSO said in a report that the number of unemployed persons in July was estimated at 2.8 million, “which translated to an unemployment rate of 7.1 percent.”
The 2010’s estimated unemployment rate was 7 percent, with almost 2.71 million unemployed.
There were more males (62.6 percent) than females (37.4 percent) among the unemployed.
More than half, or 53.1 percent, of unemployed Filipinos were in age group 15 to 24 years.
One-third, or 33.6 percent, of the unemployed were high-school graduates, 21.8 percent college undergraduates, and 20.8 percent college graduates.
The labor survey said there were about 37.1 million Filipinos employed in July 2011. “This number translates to an employment rate of 92.9 percent,” the NSO said.
The employment rate in the same period in 2010 was 93 percent, the NSO said.
Job creation is urgent, according to Dr. Rene E. Ofreneo of the University of the Philippines School of Labor and Industrial Relations in an e-mail.
Ofreneo also said that government should “crack down” on industries that are not in crisis and yet push workers to do excessive overtime work without pay. “I am referring to the hospital industry and fast-food industry, which take advantage of the large supply of unemployed nursing and HRM [hotel and restaurant management] graduates, who are hired as interns or trainees,” he said.
According to the NSO, the services sector made up the majority of the estimated 37.1 million employed persons in July 2011, accounting for more than half (52.2 percent) of the total employed population, NSO said. Around one-third (32.6 percent) were in the agriculture sector and the rest (15.2 percent) were in the industry sector.
Among the various occupation groups, laborers and unskilled workers constituted the largest group, making up 32.6 percent of the total employed population. This was also the largest occupation group in July 2010 (31.8 percent). Farmers, forestry workers, and fishermen were the second-largest group of workers accounting for 15.2 percent of the total employed.
Employed persons who express the desire to have additional hours of work in their present job or to have additional job, or to have a new job with longer working hours, are considered underemployed.
The number of underemployed persons in July 2011 was estimated at 7.1 million, placing the underemployment rate at 19.1 percent.
NSO said that more than half (55.8 percent) of the total underemployed were reported as visibly underemployed or working less than 40 hours during the reference week. Those working for 40 hours or more accounted for 42.7 percent. Most of the underemployed were working in the agriculture sector (43.7 percent) and services sector (40.7 percent).
The underemployed in the industry sector accounted for 15.7 percent.
Across regions, Cagayan Valley had the highest employment rate at 97.6 percent, followed by Zamboanga Peninsula (96.7 percent), Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (96.3 percent) and MIMAROPA (96.2 percent).
The National Capital Region had the lowest employment rate at 89.1 percent.
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