Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Normin’s underemployment highest in Mindanao

WHEN statistics start to speak and tell you that the January 2012 Labor Force Survey (LFS) results of the country registered an employment rate of 92.8 percent, which is not significantly different from the estimate reported in January 2011, which was 92.6 percent, what will be your outright reaction?
In the same vein, when statistics will unfold before your eyes and show you another findings obtained from the survey that of the total employed persons in the Philippines in January 2012, 62.1 percent were working full time while 36.7 percent were part-time workers, what will be your immediate response?
Such rhetorical questions might lead one to think critically and to start untying the entangled thread that complicates the issue on underemployment as one brings to the fore these questions – “Who are the underemployed?” “How does underemployment differ from unemployment?
While unemployment has been a common topic of discussion, underemployment and its effects have not been given much attention, even though the number of underemployed workers has also increased.
It has been said that “unemployment and underemployment are considered as the two difficult socio-economic problems that can cause undesirable effects on the person’s economic and social status.
The easiest way to present the concept that illustrates the meaning of unemployment is when one is in a jobless condition. On the other hand, underemployment refers to a condition wherein an employed individual’s work is insufficient to fulfill his needs. Moreover, employed persons who express the desire to have additional hours of work in their present job, or to have additional job, or to have a new job with longer working hours are considered underemployed.
According to NSO Administrator Carmelita N. Ericta, “the number of underemployed persons in the country in January 2012 was estimated at 7.0 million placing the underemployment rate at 18.8 percent. The underemployment rate in January 2011 was estimated at 19.4 percent. Fifty-nine percent of the total underemployed persons were visibly underemployed or working for less than 40 hours during the reference week. Those working for 40 hours or more accounted for 38.8 percent. A large percentage of the underemployed were working in the agriculture sector (43.8%) and services sector (40.5%). The underemployed in the industry sector accounted for 15.7 percent.”
What about Northern Mindanao ?
Based on the Preliminary Results of the January 2012 Labor Force Survey conducted by the National Statistics Office, the underemployment rate for Northern Mindanao was posted at 26.6 percent. Though it decreased by 1.7 percentage points from 28.3 percent a year ago, it still registered as the highest among the Mindanao regions and also higher than the national figure of 18.8 percent. Some of this number of people employed for less than 40 hours a week means that there is less money being brought home to pay for living expenses, barely enough to pay for the basic needs of the family.
Underemployment is often related to marginal work, and therefore creates substantial distress and hardship to the individuals. Most underemployed persons are living on low wages and/or in poverty and they have nothing to spare for the education of their children, leading to an increase in the number of uneducated children and those who have dropped out from school. This would then pose another problem on the labor force in the future as these children would find it hard to look for a job that would fit their qualification. As cited in an online article in the Journal of Management, “‘I Have a Job, But…’ A Review of Underemployment,” by University of Nevada, Reno Assistant Professor Frances M. McKee-Ryan and University of Alabama Assistant Professor Jaron Harvey, underemployment brings potential detrimental effects to individuals, organizations and society.
Along with the decreasing trend on the underemployment, Northern Mindanao also experienced a decline on the unemployment rate which was estimated at 4.3 percent, indicating 0.6 percentage point lower compared a year ago with 4.9 percent. Despite the vast development of numerous establishments and industries in the region, still some people were not able to get hold of a job.
On the other hand, the labor force participation rate for the region is posted at 69.2 percent. It showed a slight increase of 0.8 percentage point from 68.4 percent in 2011. This placed the regional employment rate at 95.7 percent, higher by 0.6 percent compared to last year’s rate of 95.1 percent. However, employment growth was not sufficient to reduce unemployment because of population growth and increased labor force participation.
Across industry groups, those employed in the services sector comprised the largest group, making up nearly half (45.1%) of the total employed persons. Employed persons engaged in wholesale and retail trade; repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles comprised the largest group in the services sector (17.0% of total employed).
Workers in the agriculture sector comprised the second largest group, consisting of 44.7 percent of the total employed persons. Only 10.2 percent of the total employed was in the industry sector.
Among the various occupation groups, the laborers and unskilled workers comprised the largest group making up 39.6 percent of the total employed persons in January 2012. Farmers, forestry workers and fishermen were the second largest group with 18.5 percentage share.
Indeed, underemployment might be a complex phenomenon that is difficult to study, but if it would not be given attention, it will continue to bring more challenges that will affect the individuals and the economy.

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Map of Region 10 Camiguin Misamis Oriental Misamis Occidental Lanao del Norte Bukidnon

Link to Partner Agencies

Partner Agencies NSO Central Office National Bureau of Invistigation Philippine National Police 10 Department of Interior and Local Government National Economic and Development AuthorityBureau of Agriculture Statistics DepEd Professional Regulatory Board Civil Service Commission Department of Foreign AffairsNational Statistics Coordination Board

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