World Bank study: Filipinos work hard, are employed but remain poor

  • A World Bank analysis shows that Filipinos may be employed but still remain in poverty
  • The economy may have improved but many of the jobs created are “precarious and low-paying”
  • There is a need to improve the quality of education and to address “pervasive in-work poverty”

A recent analysis by the World Bank (WB) noted that although many Filipinos are employed, they still remain in poverty.

The recent WB study called Labor Market Review: Employment and Poverty in the Philippines, points out that despite the increase in the number of jobs created over the past decade, many Filipinos find themselves underemployed or wanting to have additional hours of work in their present job, to have an additional job, or to have a new job with longer working hours.

“This new report shows that contrary to some perceptions, economic growth in the last 10 years has created enough jobs to absorb the growing labor force. Still, many workers remain underemployed,” WB country director Mara Warwick explained to Rappler.

Warwick further elaborates that many of the jobs created over the past years are “precarious and low-paying” jobs often in the informal sector.

Thus, the study highlights the need for policymakers to focus on “pervasive in-work poverty” and to improve the quality of education in the country. The WB concluded that:

“Pervasive in-work poverty is the main challenge facing labor policy. The reduction of in-work poverty hinges on removing constraints to gainful employment in both supply side (better education and skills) and demand side (better jobs). It is critical that the young poor have improved access to quality education, and be equipped with skills required in the modern sector of the economy.”

Latest data from the Philippine Statistics Authority shows that while the unemployment rate has gone down to 6.1 percent, underemployment has gone up to 18.4 percent.