Widespread precariousness and deepened poverty for workers
(First part of a three-part series of Trade Union and Human Rights Situation 2014 )
Aquino’s much-hyped economic growth proved to be meaningless and abstract for the country’s poor majority. Jobs created in 2014 were predominantly precarious and low paying. The regionalized wage system dragged down real wages by as much as 21 percent. Privatization of public utilities not only added burden to the poor with increased rates and prices but also siphoned public funds to the pockets of big corporations in the form of state guaranteed profits. After almost five years, the gap between the rich and poor ever widened as the country’s richest amass bigger profits while the huge majority of Filipinos are left in deepened poverty.
Creating precarious and low paying jobs
Official employment statistics showed slight improvement in employment situation in the year 2014 as the government reported 1 million jobs generated thus decreasing the number of unemployed by 42,000 lowering the unemployment rate to 6.8 percent in 2014 from 7.2 percent in 2013 (BLES, 2015). Estimates of independent research groups however show a significantly higher unemployment rates. According to Ibon Foundation (2015), unemployment rate is 10.2 percent equivalent to at least 4.1 million workers. Most recent SWS survey, on the other hand, reveals a much higher estimate of 27 percent unemployment rate totaling to 12 million Filipinos (SWS, Feb 2015).
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