This headline could very well be true as of the as of the end of this school year if projections came true.
According to an article in the Philippine Star, Senator Ralph Recto estimated that as of January 2011, over 500,000 college graduates were still jobless while another 700,000 would be expected to look for jobs after graduation within the next couple of months. The same article went on to state that fifty percent of the unemployed are below 24 years of age and that the Philippines has the highest unemployment rate in the region.
If that sounds bad, a GMA News Online article reported that the unemployed actually numbered closer to 9.7 million as of December 2011. This is equivalent to a staggering 24.7% unemployment rate and represented an increase from the 22.9% in June 2011. The survey indicated that 33% of the unemployed were either laid off or not renewed as contractual workers.
Although the government hotly disputes the SWS data* cited in the article, unemployment remains high any way you look at it.
“The country has a growing labor force that has no jobs available for them”, according to Senator Recto.
Senator Recto has filed a bill seeking to grant business owners tax discounts and other regulatory perks in exchange for hiring additional workers. He also called on the Senate committees to look into the job generation program of the government and see if it was producing results.
Hopefully those two measures would positively affect the labor market’s prospects. With labor groups pressing for across-the-board wage hikes however, businesses will be hard pressed to hire more people.
NOTE: The SWS and NSCB actually have different definitions of “unemployed”.