MANILA - The number of jobless Filipinos climbed to 21.5 percent in the third quarter of 2019 as an estimated 10 million adults identified themselves as unemployed, according to a recent Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey released Saturday.
The number is higher compared to the 9.8 million (20.7 percent) jobless Filipino adults in June and the 9.4 million (19.7 percent) in March, SWS said in its study conducted from September 27 to 30, 2019.
Of the total, about 4.4 million adults (9.5 percent) resigned from their old jobs, 3.9 million (8.4 percent) lost work due to "economic circumstances beyond their control" or retrenchment, while another 1.6 million (3.5 percent) were first-time job seekers.
Among those affected by retrenchments, about 2.7 million lost their jobs after employers no longer renewed their contracts.
Some 621,000 others were laid off after the company they worked for closed operations, while some 596,000 Filipinos were fired from their positions.
JOBLESSNESS IN VISAYAS DROPS, UP IN MOST OTHER AREAS
The story is on the positive side in Visayas as the number of jobless there was almost halved to 934,000 (11.8 percent) in the third quarter, from the 1.7 million unemployed (24.3 percent) in the second quarter of 2019.
But most of the country reported higher unemployment rates.
Joblessness rose in Luzon, with 5.3 million unemployed adults or 25 percent, up 3.3 percentage points from last quarter's 21.7 percent.
Metro Manila also saw an increase in joblessness as 1.6 million adults (24.5 percent) in the area were found unemployed in the third quarter. This is about 0.3 percentage points higher than last quarter's 24.3 percent.
Joblessness in Mindanao also worsened this quarter as 2.2 million adults said they did not have jobs. This is 1.2 percentage points higher than Mindanao's 18.7-percent joblessness rate in the second quarter of the year.
DEMAND FOR YOUNG WORKERS
Joblessness across all age groups increased, except for workers 18 to 24-years old.
Joblessness in this age bracket dropped to 1.9 million adults (44.9 percent) from the second quarter's 2.8 million unemployed adults (50.2 percent).
Some 3.3 million workers aged between 25 and 34 said they were jobless, while 2 million Filipinos aged between 35 and 44 said they do not have jobs.
Among those aged 45 years and above, some 14 percent or 2.8 million said they did not have work.
URBAN VS RURAL
More Filipinos found themselves without work, regardless if they were staying in urban or rural areas, according to the survey.
Adult joblessness rose in urban areas to 23.4 percent in the third quarter, up by 1.5 percentage points from last quarter's 21.9 percent.
Joblessness also rose slightly in rural communities to 20.3 percent, up by half a percentage point from 19.8 percent in June.
Despite the increase of joblessness among Filipinos, about half of the survey's 1,800 respondents said they were optimistic that there would be more available jobs in the next 12 months.
Fifty-three percent of respondents said they expect "more jobs" over the next coming months, while only 13 percent believed that there will be "fewer jobs" in the near future. About 21 percent said there will be "no change" in the number of jobs available, while 12 percent said they "don't know" what will happen.
As of September 2019, about 46.3 million Filipino adults are still part of the labor force, SWS said.
This is a slight decline from June's 47.4 million working Filipinos, and the 47.6 million workers in March.
The survey was conducted using face-to-face interviews with 1,800 adult respondents. It has a margin of error of +/- 2.3 percent.