The number of jobless Filipino adults has gone down to an estimated 8.6 million, based on the second quarter survey of the Social Weather Stations.
The survey, conducted from June 27 to 30, 2018, found adult joblessness down to 19.7 percent from 23.9 percent (an estimated 10.9 million) in the first quarter survey conducted in March.
SWS said the June 2018 adult joblessness rate consisted of those who voluntarily left their old jobs at 9.5 percent (est. 4.2 million adults), those who involuntarily lost their jobs at 6.8 percent (est. 3.0 million adults), and first-time job seekers at 3.4 percent (est. 1.5 million adults)
The polling firm said its adult joblessness data referred to adults in the labor force—those with a job at present, plus those without a job at present and looking for a job.
The June 2018 survey found the adult labor force participation rate at 68.3%, or an estimated 43.8 million adults.
"This is a 3.1% decrease from the 71.4% (est. 45.8 million adults) labor force participation rate in March 2018," it said.
Malacañang welcomed the news.
"Bumaba po ang joblessness. Ang joblessness po natin ay nasa 19.7 percent, which is 4.2 percent below the 23.9 percent in March 2018," presidential spokesman Harry Roque said in a statement.
"Ito po ay sang-ayon sa 2nd Quarter 2018 Social Weather Stations survey. Ito po ay patunay na bagaman may problema sa inflation, nanatiling malakas po ang ating ekonomiya as evidenced by the reduction in joblessness," he added.
Roque said the figure was "consistent with the recently released government data from the Labor Force Survey (LFS) of the Philippines Statistics Authority (PSA), which indicates that the July 2018 employment rate improved to 94.6 percent, which I announced as part of my Good News Monday."
"This PSA figure, we reiterate, is the highest in the last 10 years among previous July rounds, as per the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA)," he added.
The think-tank Ibon Foundation, however, pointed to PSA's data that showed the number of employed individuals went down to 40.7 million in 2018 from 41 million in June 2016.
Ibon's Sonny Africa said this was the reason why the many Filipinos were reeling from skyrocketing prices of basic commodities due to the nine-year high 6.4 percent inflation rate since
“Tignan natin ang data. 300,000 ang nawalan ng trabaho. Pinapakita lamang na nahihirapan ang ating agrikultura at iba pang industriya kaya mahal ang presyo ng pagkain. Nabawasan pa ang mga nagtatrabaho sa Pilipinas. Dun sa unemployment rate, hindi pa roon kasama 'yung mga walang trabaho na hindi na naghahanap ng trabaho sa loob ng anim na buwan,” Africa said in an interview with Balitanghali. — BAP/NB, GMA News