Adult joblessness slightly decreases to 24.7% - SWS survey

Adult joblessness slightly fell in the country, constituting 24.7 percent of the labor force, results of the most recent quarterly national survey conducted by the Social Weather Stations (SWS) showed on Thursday, April 28.

Manila Bulletin file photo

The nationwide survey done face-to-face from Dec. 12 to 16, 2021 among 1,440 respondents also found that this is the lowest since the 17.5 percent in December 2019. SWS also said that this is similar to the 24.8 percent in September 2021.

According to the data from SWS, joblessness reached a catastrophic level of 45.5 percent in July 2020. It eased to 39.5 percent in September 2020, 27.3 percent in November 2020, and 25.8 percent in May 2021. It also rose to 27.6 percent in June 2021 before easing to 24.8 percent in September 2021 and 24.7 percent in December 2021.

"The resulting 25.7 percent average for 2021 is 11.7 points below the record-high 37.4% average for 2020 but still 5.9 points above the 19.8% average of 2019, before the Covid-19 pandemic," SWS said.

"The estimated numbers of jobless are 11.0 million in December 2021 and 11.9 million in September 2021," it added.

SWS defines the "Labor Force" as adults who are 18 years old and above recently with a job plus those looking for a job. The Labor Force Participation Rate is the proportion of adults in the labor force.

The December 2021 survey found the Labor Force Participation Rate at 62.8 percent, or an estimated 44.5 million. It was 68.0 percent, or an estimated 48.2 million, in September 2021.

The jobless consist of those who voluntarily left their old jobs; are seeking jobs for the first time; or lost their jobs due to economic circumstances beyond their control.

Meanwhile, SWS also found that throughout 2021, the incidence of involuntary hunger has been higher among families of jobless adults than among families of those with a job/livelihood.

Compared to September 2021, involuntary hunger rose by 6.1 points among families of the jobless, up from 16.3 percent (consisting of 11.8 percent moderate hunger and 4.5 percent severe hunger) to 22.4 percent (consisting of 16.8 percent moderate hunger and 5.6 percent severe hunger).