Job generation minimal, poor-quality jobs persist under Aquino administration

Unsatisfactory employment outcomes are despite the 6.0% third quarter economic growth in 2015 being faster than the 5.5% growth rate in the same period last year

The Aquino administration overplays labor force data to showcase the Daang Matuwid program and ensure its continuation under presidential bet Mar Roxas, according to research group IBON. But job generation was minimal and poor-quality jobs still persist under Aquino despite the slightly lower unemployment rate.

The Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) reported in its just released Labor Force Survey (LFS) that unemployment decreased by 124,000 from 2.5 million in October last year to 2.4 million. Employment increased by 172,000 from 38.8 million to 39 million. Underemployment went down by 413,000 from 7.3 million to 6.9 million. Data compared excludes Leyte.

IBON stated that job generation was minimal and affirms the failure of the supposedly rapidly growing economy to create sufficient jobs for the country’s population and workforce. The employment increase of 172,000 in October 2015 is a marked decline from the 1.04 million increase in the same period last year. On the other hand, there was a marked 943,000 increase in those not in the labor force which may indicate growing numbers of discouraged workers.

These unsatisfactory employment outcomes are despite the 6.0% third quarter economic growth in 2015 being faster than the 5.5% growth rate in the same period last year.

Poor-quality jobs or work that is part-time, low wage, lacking in benefits and insecure persisted under the Aquino administration. Comparing LFS data that includes Leyte, part-time work went up by 568,000 from 12.8 million in October 2010 to 13 million in October 2015. Unpaid family workers still comprised almost 10% of total employed. Latest government data in 2014 also shows that 44 out of 100 Filipino workers are non-regular and agency-hired.

Aquino’s Daang Matuwid employs neoliberal policies with which government claims to have achieved inclusive growth. However, these government policies such as labor flexibilization and contractualization are only creating more insecure and low-paying work so that any growth in the economy is not felt by ordinary Filipinos, said IBON.

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