Erratum on SONA jobs numbers


Posted at Aug 03 2009 06:34 PM | Updated as of Aug 04 2009 04:07 AM

On July 28, 2009, published a story, "Arroyo missed own jobs target," which implied that the government claimed to generate more jobs than what data the National Statistics Office (NSO) presented.

The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) later released a statement clarifying that the Arroyo administration has indeed registered 8 million in employment gains from 2001 to April 2009 as announced by President Arroyo in her State of the Nation Address (SONA) last week.

In the DOLE computation of employment gains, the figures for total jobs in 2000 were adjusted the following year to 27.45 million from 28.29 million.'s computation, however, did not take these adjustments into account. This difference resulted in DOLE computing 1.7 million employment gains in 2001, against's 0.89 in the first year of the Arroyo administration.

Erratum on SONA jobs numbers 1
Erratum on SONA jobs numbers 2
There was also a difference in the computation of the 2009 employment gains. computed 1.05 million for 2009 based on the average of the employment gains as reported by the NSO in January and April. DOLE, however, considered 1.5 million as the total jobs gain for 2009 since, according to DOLE Director for Information and Publication Service Jay Julian, this was based on the most recently available jobs data for the year.

We have made the necessary corrections in the article. Our apologies.
The second part of the article, however, focused on President Arroyo's 2004 announcement that her administration has targetted to generate 10 million jobs for her 2004-2010 term. Using DOLE's employment gains data, Arroyo's government has generated only about 4.8 million jobs for the past 5 years, and only has one year left to create the remaining 5.2 million. --Eds.

Below is the statement from DOLE:

RP’s employment gains in 8 years are factual - Labor chief

The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) today clarified that the total 8.095 million in employment gains registered from 2001 until April 2009 are based on the annual average total of the National Statistics Office’s Labor Force Survey (LFS).

Labor and Employment Secretary Marianito D. Roque made the clarification in response to unfair criticisms and reports questioning the veracity of the figure attributed to the DOLE.

Roque made it clear that the cumulative gains in employment from 2001 to 2009 are based on the annual average rate as reflected meticulously and consistently by the National Statistic Office (NSO), a major agency of the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA).

However, the Labor and Employment Secretary made the point that while the gains in the country’s employment are not DOLE-generated results, the NEDA-NSO’s periodic Labor Force Survey (LFS) is an international standards-based measure or indicator that provides an accurate picture of the country’s employment situation.

“Indeed, its veracity is affirmed by the time-honored acceptance of the NSO survey as the main and most authoritative source of employment data obtaining in the Philippines among the major sectors and stakeholders whether it be among labor, management and employers or the private sector, the government itself, the academe, international investors and institutions, and others.”

He contended that the 8.095 million jobs generated under the Arroyo administration since 2001 were not just mere figures but derived from the annual average of four LFS being conducted by the NSO in January, April, July and October of every year.

“As far as I remember since the 1980s, what the NSO does is that it gets the average of the four quarter surveys, once every quarter, and that is what you call the employment generation data for the year,” Roque noted. “And since the past administrations I have seen, it has consistently been the source of our employment data.”

Based on NSO data, the annual average of employment created from 2001 to 2008 are: 1.704 million in 2001; 906,000 in 2002; 573,000 in 2003; 978,000 in 2004; 700,000 in 2005; 323,000 in 2006; 924,000 in 2007; and 1.458 million for the first two quarters of 2009.

“These figures are based on the surveys which cover 51,000 households, so far the biggest survey sample that’s being taken by any organization,” Roque said.

He added that the employment increment registered during most of the current decade amounts to a plus or positive factor that has made the country resilient and able to withstand the onslaught and the worst effects of the global financial crisis that debilitated other economies worldwide.

During her State on the Nation Address (SONA) last Monday, President Arroyo cited these employment gains, underscoring the utmost importance of concerted efforts in employment generation, creation and facilitation of government and all sectors.

The President’s speech also positively dwelt upon positive aspects related directly to the strengthening of employment in the country including provision of microfinance for the informal sector workers, interventions to protect and assist overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) against displacement, gains in technical vocational education or the training and provision of productive skills to workers, and the vitality of the country’s Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) industry which is a vibrant contributor to Filipino workers’ employment.