Survey also says 19 percent of adult Filipinos jobless
MANILA — At least 69 percent of adult Filipinos said it is hard to find a job, according to a recent survey by the Social Weather Stations which was released on Thursday.
This contrasted with official government data which showed improvements in the labor market with the unemployment rate going down in March, and jobs quality improving as shown by the drop in the underemployment rate.
According to SWS, only 11 percent believed it was easy to find a job today while 16 percent said it was neither hard nor easy, with the remaining 4 percent saying they don't know.
On the optimism on job availability, the SWS First Quarter 2023 National Survey said 50 percent or half believe there will be more jobs in the next 12 months. Meanwhile, 26 percent said there were no changes on job availability, and 10 percent believed there will be fewer jobs.
The survey had 1,200 respondents nationwide and was conducted from March 26 to 29.
JOBLESSNESS AT 19 PERCENT
In the same survey, SWS found that adult joblessness was at 19 percent with an estimated 8.7 million jobless Filipinos in March 2023 from 21.3 percent or 9.6 million in December 2022, the survey showed.
SWS's data is higher compared to the 4.7 percent unemployment rate in March released by the Philippine Statistics Authority.
The survey firm however said its joblessness rate differs from that of the PSA's due to the difference in definition of employment, age range and reference period, among others.
"In the past, SWS has compared its Joblessness rate with Philippine Statistics Authority's (PSA) Unemployment rate. However, given the differences between SWS and PSA's definitions of employment, there has been an understandably large discrepancy between PSA's Unemployment rate and SWS's Joblessness rate," SWS said.
"The leniency of this requirement made it very easy to be officially categorized as employed," it added.
SWS defines those in the labor force as adults with a job and those looking for a job. In March, the survey tallied the labor force participation rate at 62.4 percent.
Based on the survey, joblessness was highest in Luzon, followed by Mindanao and the Visayas. Unemployment was also higher in women at 30.2 percent compared to men at 11.6 percent in March.
Unemployment is also higher in urban areas at 21.6 percent compared to rural areas at just 14.6 percent for the period, the survey showed.
In March 2023, 9.8 percent of Filipino families, or 2.7 million persons experienced involuntary hunger at least once in the past 3 months.
But SWS said the incidence of involuntary hunger was slightly higher among families of jobless adults than among families of those with livelihood.
Involuntary hunger was at 13.7 percent among the families of the jobless while it is at 11.3 percent among families of respondents with a job.