By Leslie Ann Aquino
Labor groups are not surprised with the result of the Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey showing a drop in the number of jobless Filipinos during the final quarter of 2019.
Partido Manggagawa chair Renato Magtubo said it’s a “natural phenomena” that, on the fourth quarter of every year, the economy registers growth brought about by consumer spending during the Christmas season.
“As a consequence, it generates job opportunities for the unemployed,” he said in an interview Wednesday.
“The main question however is the quality of jobs generated during the Christmas season which is obviously temporary or casual in nature,” added Magtubo.
Federation of Free Workers (FFW) vice president Julius Cainglet said while they welcome this development, such drop in unemployment was “temporary.”
He added that many workers hired in the last quarter of the year in time for the Christmas season to meet consumer demand, have been laid off as early as January 2.
Magtubo expressed hope that the government will address unemployment by providing more permanent jobs.
“Sustainably addressing perennial unemployment and underemployment problems in the country requires additional investment by the government in the manufacturing sector of the industry as well as in the agro-industrial sector of the agriculture,” he said.
“These sectors given priority and necessary investments can sustainably generate regular jobs to the country’s unemployed,” added Magtubo.
The SWS survey conducted back in December showed that 17.5 percent of the labor force (7.9 million), were without jobs or were jobless.
The number was lower by 4 percentage points from the 21.5 percent, or an estimated 10 million, back in September.