The Philippine Diaspora

Topics: Philippines, Overseas Filipino, Filipino American Pages: 10 (3024 words) Published: August 26, 2013


Marie Gabrielle Jimenez


This is a paper submitted to Ms. Lilia Casanova for the partial fulfillment of requirement for the course of Philippine Social and Economic Development Issues (MFSC011).


Unemployment in the Philippines

According to the International Labor Organization (ILO), unemployed people are those who are currently not working but are willing and able to work for pay, currently available to work, and have actively searched for work. Simply put, it is the term used for the state in which people are in when they are jobless but wish to and are capable of work. In recent years, unemployment has presented itself as one of the main issues of the Philippines. The Philippines is ranked as the fifty-ninth (59th) country in the world with the worst case of unemployment 1 – the country even has a better unemployment rating than the United States of America, the United Kingdom, Canada and France. However, the unemployment rate in the Philippines is known to be the highest in South and Southeast Asia with 7.5% of its people unemployed. This figure comes as a stark difference from the country’s regional brothers, Cambodia and Thailand, who have nearly 100% of their work-abled population employed. Recently, the unemployment rating of the country has jumped from 6.9% (April 2012) to 7.5% (April 2013) 2 – there are currently 2.89 million Filipinos who are unemployed. The National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA), nonetheless, has stated that the figure will be brought down in due time because the country, under President Benigno “PNoy” Aquino III, has been able to bring down the unemployment rate from 8% (April 2010) to 6.9% in just two (2) years. NEDA has also stated that the goal at the start of President Benigno Aquino III’s term as President was to bring down the unemployment rate to 6.8% - 7.2% by 2013 from the 8% rating in 2010.

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The drop in employment is primarily due to the decline in the agricultural sector. The loss of the agricultural sector is reported to have been 624,000 workers, in the midst of growth in the industry and services sector which generated 224,000 and 380,000 jobs respectively.3 The services sector is the largest group of workers in the country, followed by the agricultural sector, and the industry sector.

Division of Workers by Sector

Services Sector (52.6%) Agricultural Sector (31.3%) Industry Sector (16.1%)

Figures taken from the National Statistics Office, 2012

In the Philippines, the National Capital Region (NCR) has the highest unemployment rate with only 90.1% of its citizens employed. The highest employment rate was recorded in the region of Cagayan Valley with 96.8% of its citizens employed, followed by MIMAROPA and Zamboanga Peninsula with 95.9% employment rate each.4 Ironically, Zamboanga Peninsula and MIMAROPA are the fourth (4th) and tenth (10th) poorest regions in the country, with NCR ranking as the least poorest among all regions.

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The Effects of Unemployment (Analysis)

The answer to unemployment in the Philippines is seen as to be connected to the

“need to improve the employability of worker applicants, particularly those with secondary and tertiary education,” (Emmanuel Esguerra, 2013). It is important to note that majority of the unemployed are high school graduates (31.7%), college graduates (21.3%) and lastly, college undergraduates (14.6%). The country has been struggling to bring together the lack of jobs...
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