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By Mahar Mangahas
Last Wednesday I was at a hearing of the House committee on constitutional amendments, which had asked for data on “the quality of life of the Filipinos vis-à-vis the posted economic growth of the Philippines.” There I presented the SWS surveys that show that Philippine poverty, hunger and joblessness have been disappointingly flat in the past decade, despite rapid economic growth. I pointed out that joblessness of well above 20 percent is not new, but has been around since 2005, and also that “Yolanda” victims are no more jobless than nonvictims.
By Ramon R. del Rosario Jr.
Our updated unemployment and underemployment statistics released last week, while not markedly different from recent periods, produced quite a stir. I think this is because the figures came on the heels of the report on our very impressive 7.2 percent GDP growth for all of 2013, the second highest in Asia. With a combined unemployment and underemployment rate of 26.4 percent for 2013 based on official government figures, the question that should be uppermost in the minds of our national leaders is: What more do we need to do to create the jobs that will address this critical problem?
By Manuel Almario
Last week the Inquirer headlined its main story as follows: “P-Noy: What went wrong?” The headline depicted the President’s exasperation and puzzlement, if not shock, over a survey conducted by the Social Weather Stations showing that the unemployment rate among Filipino adults soared to 27.5 percent in 2013.
By Neal H. Cruz
President Aquino’s drumbeaters repeatedly crow that the Philippine economy has expanded tremendously—at 7.2 percent the highest in Asia, next only to China.
By Ricardo B. Reyes
What’s wrong? President Benigno Aquino III’s question to his Cabinet on why high unemployment persists, even rising to 27.5 percent in the last quarter of 2013 (SWS, December 2013), belying the claims of “inclusive growth,” should make him realize that he is listening to just one voice on the economy—that of the apostles of privatization and liberalization who dominate his Cabinet, like Purisima, Almendras, Balisacan, Abad and Petilla.
It is saddening that despite the rapid economic expansion for the past two years, millions of Filipinos remain unemployed. This is what economists refer to as “jobless growth,” a phenomenon that afflicts many developing countries, debunking the myth that economic growth automatically translates to employment and poverty reduction.
By Mahar Mangahas
Last Tuesday, the Inquirer’s subhead, “SWS: Unemployment rate rose to 27.5% in Q4,” was critically imprecise, because the SWS statistic Joblessness is defined differently from the official statistic Unemployment. To emphasize the difference here, I write the former with a capital J, and the latter with a capital U. Unlike the ordinary mass media, SWS is careful not to interchange its term Joblessness with the official term Unemployment.
By Amando Doronila
The dramatic surge in the number of unemployed Filipinos to more than 12 million in the last quarter of 2013 sent the Aquino administration scrambling for an explanation for the spiral despite its claim that the economy grew 7.2 percent last year.
The results of two surveys released last week highlight the structural imbalance in the Philippine economy and underscore the fact that the economic boom under the Aquino administration remains wanting in alleviating poverty or generating jobs.
Tacloban City and the rest of the typhoon-ravaged places in Regions 6, 7 and 8 must be rehabilitated and rebuilt based on a framework designed to enhance the people’s capacity to survive calamities and to live a secure and dignified life.
By Cielito F. Habito
Over the past year, our gross domestic product (GDP) grew by an impressive 7.5 percent (as of end-June). In the process, the economy saw a net increase of 620,000 additional jobs on top of the 37,555,000 jobs that existed in the economy last year. This means that the number of jobs grew by only 1.6 percent, or just about one-fifth of the rate at which the economy grew.
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.