ADB warns of high unemployment until next year

Published by reposted only Date posted on December 31, 2009

DESPITE the anticipated economic recovery next year, the unemployment rate may still climb higher in developing countries like the Philippines, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) warned. In a report, the Manila-based lender said there was at least a one-quarter lag from the time the crisis decreased economic output and increased unemployment.

“These findings suggest that, even if a recovery in terms of economic output is underway, the adverse impacts of the crisis on unemployment—and its accompanying social impacts—may yet be felt,” the ADB said.

As Philippine industry suffered the most from the crisis, the agriculture sector became the safety net, the lender said.

Employment growth in the industry sector fell 7 percent in the second quarter of the year, but agriculture jobs expanded by 2.6 percent.

As of October, the National Statistics Officer (NSO) reported that 2.719 million Filipinos were jobless, up by 191,000 from 2.525 million in the same period last year.

This translates to an unemployment rate of 7.1 percent, up from 6.8 percent in the same period last year.

The NSO said there were about 944,000 jobs created, way below from the government’s annual one million target.

Acting Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Augusto Santos, however, dispelled concerns over the jobless figures, adding that one million to 1.5 million jobs would be created next year.

He said the number of jobs created next year would equal the new entrants to the labor force estimated at 1.4 million.

“For 2010, jobs would be coming in the services sector—in trading, finance and banking,” he added. –DARWIN G. AMOJELAR SENIOR REPORTER, Manila Times

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