/ 1 September 2022

SENATOR Juan Edgardo ‘Sonny’ Angara filed a resolution that seeks to assess the state of youth unemployment and underemployment in the country.

Angara, in his Senate Resolution 155, aired his concern on the difficulty of young Filipinos to find work even when the economy reopened after two years into the Covid19 pandemic.

Based on the Labor Force Survey conducted by the Philippine Statistics Authority in June 2022, the unemployment rate of the youth aged 15-24 was pegged at 11.8 percent or 854,000 youth.

This was lower than the 14.5 percent or 1.159 Filipino youth recorded over the same period last year and the 12.8 percent posted before the pandemic.

While there was a decline in the figures, Angara said the number is still high and could even go back up unless necessary interventions are introduced to address the issue.

“The Covid19 pandemic had a huge impact on the entire population, including the youth. It could even be argued that the youth faced greater challenges during the pandemic because of the restrictions imposed on mobility. It was very difficult for them to join the labor force,” the chairman of the Senate Committee on Youth said.

In its study entitled “Global Employment Trends for the Youth 2022: Investing in transforming futures for young people,” the International Labor Organization estimated that 73 million youth are unemployed around the world this year.

While the figure is lower than the 75 million in 2021, it was six million higher than the total count in 2019.

The World Economic Forum also noted an 8.7 percent decline in youth employment in 2020 compared to the adult employment which went down by 3.7 percent.

Data from the World Bank also showed a rise in youth unemployment in the Philippines—from 6.7 percent in 2018 to 6.8 percent in 2019, 7.1 percent in 2020, and 7.3 percent in 2021.

“There are several laws in place to help the Filipino youth in finding jobs, including RA 10917 or Expanded Special Program for the Employment of Students; RA 10869, which institutionalized the JobStart Philippines program; and RA 11261 or the First Time Jobseekers Program. These laws have done a lot to assist the youth but we want to see what else we can do to address the gaps between education and employment,” Angara said.