MANILA - The adult unemployment rate in the Philippines dropped for the second consecutive quarter, results of a Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey showed Tuesday.
The March survey found that around 9.4 million Filipinos or 19.7 percent have no jobs, lower than the 21.1 percent in December 2018 and the 22 percent, or around 9.8 million adults, in September 2018.
SWS defines jobless Filipinos as those who voluntarily left their old jobs, those who were retrenched, and first-time job seekers.
Of the 9.4 million jobless Filipinos, around 3.6 million were retrenched, 4.5 million resigned from their old jobs, and around 1.3 million are first-time job seekers.
The joblessness rate was highest in Metro Manila and Balance Luzon, both at 21 percent, followed by Visayas at 18 percent and Mindanao at 17 percent.
In Metro Manila, joblessness dropped from 27 percent in December 2018 to 21 percent in March 2019, making it the first time in five quarters that there has been a decrease in joblessness in the capital region, according to SWS.
It also noted that joblessness was higher among those aged 18 to 24 compared to other age groups. There are also more jobless women than men, with around 6 million women without jobs compared to 3.4 million jobless men.
[BOLD] OPTIMISM ON JOB AVAILABILITY
Net optimism on job availability, or that there will be more jobs in the next 12 months, is "very high" at + 37 in March 2019. It dropped from an "excellent" +40 in December 2018.
Optimism fell by 2 points from 52 percent in December 2018 to 50 percent in March 2019. Pessimism, on the other hand, rose by 1 point from 12 percent on December to 13 percent in March.
SWS said the proportion of those who say there will be no change in job availability rose by 3 points from 22 percent in December to 25 percent in March.
The March 28 to 31 SWS survey was conducted using face-to-face interviews of 1,440 Filipinos aged 18 and above and has a +/-2.6 percent margin of error for national percentages.