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Adult Filipinos without jobs decreased to 8.7M on March 23, according to SWS.

According to a nationwide poll by Social Weather Stations (SWS), there were 8.7 million unemployed adult Filipinos as of March this year, down from 9.6 million at the end of December 2022.

The most recent unemployment rate was 19%, according to the First Quarter 2023 SWS survey from March 26 to 29, 2023.

This is 2.3 percentage points lower than the 21.3 percent seen in December last year and 7 percentage points lower than the 26 percent seen in April.

However, the most recent number is 1.5 percentage points higher than the 17.5 percent rate that was reported at the end of 2019 or before the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic, and SWS has stated that the return to pre-pandemic levels is “still incomplete.”

According to SWS, adult unemployment in the nation is typically on the decline after reaching an alarming 45.5 percent in July 2020, and it even decreased to 18.6 percent in October 2022.

According to the pollster, adult unemployment includes individuals looking for work for the first time, those who deliberately left their previous positions, and those who lost their jobs due to uncontrollable economic conditions.

The March 2023 poll also revealed that the labor force participation rate—the percentage of working-age adults—was 62.4 percent in March 2023, with about 45.9 million people employed.

In the first quarter of this year, the unemployment rate decreased in Metro Manila from 24.8 to 17.5 percent, Balanced Luzon from 23.1 to 21.7 percent, and Visayas from 18.6 to 13.5 percent.

In Mindanao, the percentage barely changed from 18.1 to 19 percent, according to the survey’s findings.

Hunger Among Unemployed

The most recent survey also revealed that 9.8 percent of Filipino families, or an estimated 2.7 million people, had at least one instance of involuntary hunger in the previous three months.

In contrast to the 11.3 percent (consisting of 9.5 percent moderate hunger and 1.7 percent severe hunger) experienced by families of respondents who have jobs or other sources of support, involuntary hunger is at 13.7 percent among families of jobless respondents (consisting of 13.0 percent moderate hunger and 0.6 percent severe hunger).

In addition, women are more likely than men to be unemployed (30.2 percent against 11.6 percent).

When it comes to age, individuals between the ages of 18 and 24 had the highest rate of unemployment (36%) followed by those between the ages of 25 and 34 (23.8%), 45 and older (15.9%), and those between the ages of 35 and 44 (11.7%).

The percentage of adult joblessness among junior high school graduates is the highest, at 23.3%.

1,200 persons nationwide (18 and above) were face-to-face interviewed for the First Quarter 2023 Social Weather Survey.

The sampling error margins for nationwide percentages are 2.8 percent; for Metro Manila, Balance Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao, they are 5.7 percent apiece.

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