Friday, May 2, 2014

Philippines' jobless rate highest in Southeast Asia

Philippines' jobless rate highest in Southeast Asia

By Camille Diola ( | Updated May 2, 2014 - 3:47pm
A building site in Malate, Manila. Nigel Goodman/CC

ILO sees no improvement by 2018

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippines has the highest unemployment rate in the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations, according to the International Labor Organization.

In the Global Employment Trends report first released in January, the Philippines' unemployment rate in 2013 was 7.3 percent.

"The Philippines, despite robust economic growth in excess of 6.8 percent in the past two years, job growth has been subdued and the unemployment rate remained at around 7 percent throughout 2012 and 2013," the ILO said in the 118-page report.

Unemployment rates and projections in Southeast Asia. Source: International Labor Organization
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The rate is way above the regional average of 3.12 percent with the lowest jobless record of 0.2 percent in Cambodia, followed by Thailand's 0.7 percent.

Indonesia's 6.1 percent and Brunei's 3.8 percent unemployment rates and second and third highest in Southeast Asia.

The Philippines, meanwhile, is also projected by ILO to maintain its high unemployment rate for 2013, while even slightly worsening to 7.5 percent by 2018.

The country, however, has one slight edge over its neighbors. The ILO observed that more women are jobless in other Southeast Asian nations than men.

"Conversely, in the Philippines, the unemployment rate for women in July 2013, at 7.2 percent, was almost the same as that for men, 7.3 percent," the report stated.

Screenshot from: ILO Global Employment Trends 2014 report 

The ILO also sees the Philippines' labor force growing "relatively rapidly at well above 1.5 percent per year." Labor force of Southeast Asian states' such as Myanmar, Thailand and Singapore will face a notable slowdown to less than 1 percent yearly.

The labor group said the increase in the number of workers will fuel migration.

"The disparity in labour force growth and diverse employment opportunities within the region, in addition to considerable income differences, among others, leads to both push and pull factors for workers to move across borders," ILO said.




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