Underemployment in the Philippines grew 2 percent annually in a span of over 20 years, according to the latest data from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA).
Data from PSA’s Decent Work statistics showed there were around 102,000 new underemployed workers every year. This means there were 7.18 million underemployed Filipinos in 2015, a 2.04-million increase from the 5.137 million in 1995.
“[This] is the number of total employed who wanted additional work or employed persons who wanted additional hours of work in their present job, or to have additional jobs, or a new job with longer working hours as a percentage share of total employed,” the PSA said.
However, as a percentage to total employed, the underemployment rate exhibited a declining trend from 20 percent in 1995 to 18.5 percent in 2015.
The PSA said underemployment rate reached its peak in 2006 at 22.6 percent, with the least recorded at 17 percent in 2002 and 2003.
In terms of sector, most of the underemployed worked in agriculture. The underemployment rate over the years constituted more than one-fourth, or 25.7 percent, of total employed in agriculture in 2015.
The PSA said, however, that this is 1.2 percentage points higher than the 24.5-percent underemployment rate posted in 1995.
The industry sector followed with an underemployment rate of 20.3 percent. The least share was recorded in the services sector at 14.2 percent.
Among classes of workers, self-employed workers posted the highest underemployment rate of more than one-fifth, or 21.7 percent of the total self-employed workers in 2015.
The underemployment rates for the rest of the workers in 2015 for unpaid family workers was at 17.6 percent; wage and salary workers, 17.4 percent; and employers, 14.8 percent.
“To date, the highest underemployment rate for self-employed workers was posted in 1997 at 23.8 percent and the lowest in 2001 at 17.2 percent,” the PSA said.
The decent-work data was obtained in accordance with the International Labor Organization’s (ILO) Decent Work Agenda. The ILO said decent work involves opportunities for work that is productive and delivers a fair income.
Also, the ILO said these jobs provide security in the workplace and social protection for workers and their families, and also give people the freedom to express their concerns, to organize and to participate in decisions that affect their lives.
Decent work is also key to achieving the new 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, or the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
SDG 8 called for the promotion of sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all.
Image credits: DOLE/Job Fair Dabaw Pinoy