Jobless rate remains unchanged too under Aquino’s 3 years amid ‘growth’

The country’s unemployment rate has remained unchanged at 7 percent on the average since President Aquino assumed office in 2010. Photo by Soleil Manzano.

The country’s unemployment rate has remained unchanged at 7 percent on the average since President Aquino assumed office in 2010, labor center think tank Ecumenical Institute for Labor Education and Research (EILER) said today as poverty incidence has been found out to stay the same in the last 6 years.

EILER said that the January 2013 unemployment rate was at 7.1 percent, which is almost the same as the July 2010 unemployment rate at 7 percent. In actual terms, the number of jobless Filipinos grew by nearly 200,000 during the said period based on the labor department’s data.

Yesterday, the National Statistical Coordination Board (NSCB) released a report showing that poverty incidence remains unchanged from 2006 to 2012.

“Such failure to create a dent on joblessness and poverty incidence underscores the hollowness of the stock market hype and supposed economic growth under Aquino. What we have is economic growth that produces super profits for big companies instead of jobs for ordinary Filipinos. Aquino’s brand of growth is one that perpetuates poverty and social inequality,” EILER executive director Anna Leah Escresa said.

“If ever there are new jobs, these are contractual and vulnerable jobs that are concentrated in the informal and services sector such as in construction and business process outsourcing, not in the industries,” she added.

Escresa also noted an “unprecedented surge” in the number of underemployed Filipinos since Aquino assumed the presidency.

“The number of employed Filipino workers looking for additional work increased by 22 percent, from 6.5 million in 2010 to nearly 8 million in January 2013. This clearly shows how current compensation levels are insufficient to meet the rising cost of living,” Escresa said.

“Workers are being forced to seek multiple jobs because wages are ridiculously low in the country at only $8 per day on the average. Their chances of survival are getting dimmer under this administration which places premium on corporate interests,” she added.

EILER explained that the lack of decent jobs will persist as long as the Aquino regime relies on neoliberal policies, dependence on foreign investments to support non-productive sectors of the economy such as business process outsourcing (BPO), trade, mining, and real estate. Decent job creation will only be achieved with a nationalist economic development that is based on achieving national industrialization and genuine agrarian reform.

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