By Ernesto M. Pernia
Persistent poverty has been perennially bugging the national leadership and society at large even during periods of economic growth appreciably higher than the long-term norm. It is intimately linked to joblessness, which the Social Weather Stations’ latest survey reported last Feb. 11 at 25.2 percent for 2013 (roughly equivalent to the official un- + under-employment at 24.4 percent), creating quite a media stir. Coincidentally, the SWS news appeared on the same day that the National Economic and Development Authority came out with the updated Philippine Development Plan (PDP), on which the Cabinet was reported to have met for eight hours.
Economist Cielito Habito, in his column “Investment: our crying need” (Opinion, 2/17/14), says the low level of foreign investments in our country, compared to our neighbors, is the reason for the increasing joblessness.
Despite the country’s 7.5-percent economic growth, joblessness and poverty incidence remain high.
By Mahar Mangahas
“Joblessness.” Last Monday, Social Weather Stations reported (BusinessWorld, 10/7/2013) that joblessness was 26.1 percent of adults in its survey of June 28-30, 2013. The basic SWS jobless figure is for those who say they have no job at the time of the survey (“walang trabaho sa kasalukuyan“), and who are looking for a job. The basic SWS jobless percentage in the previous quarter was 25.4 in March 2013.
By Cielito F. Habito
Jobless Filipinos breached the three-million mark last April, according to the quarterly Labor Force Survey (LFS) of the National Statistics Office (NSO). Coming with a stellar 7.8-percent economic growth in the first quarter, it seemed to negate what would otherwise be a streak of good economic news that we hadn’t seen for a while. In my usual “PiTiK test”—for presyo (prices), trabaho (jobs) and kita (income)—the good news is two out of three. Inflation has been low and steady (at 2.6 percent), aggregate output and income have been growing fast and accelerating, but—and this is the black eye—jobs appear to have declined.