Joblessness at 13-year low, but more people go hungry
Joblessness in the country fell to a 13-year low last December to 15.7 percent from 18.9 percent in September, a decline of 1.5 million adult Filipinos without jobs, results of a Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey showed.
The decline coincided with the 6.6 percent expansion of the gross domestic product (GDP) in the last quarter of the year. GDP grew 6.7 percent in 2017.
The economic expansion and decline in joblessness came as more Filipinos said they experienced involuntary hunger in the last quarter of 2017.
Some 3.6 million Filipino families said they experienced hunger last December, up 900,000 families from the number in September, according to the survey.
5 family members
An average Filipino family has five members.
The phenomenon of more people getting hungry amid the expansion of the GDP, the value of goods produced and services rendered, may be explained by inequality.
An Oxfam report found that the world’s richest 1 percent received 82 percent of the wealth generated in 2017, while the poorest of humanity got nothing.
The SWS survey on joblessness, held from Dec. 8 to 16, interviewed 1,200 adults nationwide. It had a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.
The survey estimated that 7.2 million adults were without jobs in December, down from 8.7 million in September.
The latest joblessness rate was the lowest since March 2004, when it was recorded at 9.8 percent, according to SWS.
The definition of SWS joblessness covers respondents aged 18 and over who are without jobs and are looking for work. This excludes those not looking for a job, such as housewives, students and retired or disabled persons.
The government uses unemployment in the Labor Force Survey to refer to persons 15 years and over and who are not working, looking for work and available for work.
The unemployed include those currently available but are not seeking work for reasons such as waiting for results of previous job applications, temporary illness, bad weather and waiting to be rehired.
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