MANILA - (UPDATED) Filipinos' optimism over job availability rose to a new record as joblessness declined to its lowest level in nearly 14 years, according to a Social Weather Stations survey released Wednesday.
Net optimism on job availability rose to an "excellent" +41 in December 2017, up 13 points from +28 in September. The latest reading surpassed the previous record high of +37 in December 2016, SWS said.
The average adult joblessness meanwhile slid to 15.7 percent or 7.2 million adults from the previous 18.9 percent or 8.7 million adults. Unemployment was at its lowest level since March 2004, according to the survey.
The SWS survey covers respondents 18 years and older, unlike the government's Labor Force Survey, the source of the official unemployment rate, which lowers the minimum age to 15.
The +41 net optimism on jobs is the difference between those who expected "more jobs" and those who saw "fewer jobs" in the market in the next 12 months.
Fifty-three percent of 1,200 respondents were optimistic about job availability while 12 percent said otherwise, SWS said.
The 15.7 percent joblessness rate, meanwhile, consisted of:
8.3 percent who voluntarily left their old jobs;
5.9 percent who involuntarily lost their jobs; and
1.5 percent who were first-time job seekers
The SWS defines joblessness as those "without a job at present" or "looking for a job."
The official unemployment rate stood at 5.6 percent in July 2017, up from 5.4 percent during the same period in 2016.
The December 8-16 SWS survey had sampling error margins of ±3 percent for national percentages.