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More Filipinos to work overseas as joblessness rises.

Manila: More Filipinos will become overseas workers as 27 per cent have experienced joblessness in the fourth quarter of 2014, a private pollster and analysts said, adding the survey matched the labour department's figure that 12.4 million Filipinos were jobless by end of 2014.

Of the 27 per cent who experienced joblessness in the last quarter of 2014, 14 per cent or 6.5 million voluntarily left their jobs; 9 per cent or 4.3 million were laid off; and three per cent or 1.5 million were first-time job seekers, said the Social Weather Station (SWS) following a survey of 1,800 respondents from November 27 to December 1, the result of which was released early February.

The 27 per cent fourth quarter data brought an average rate of 25.4 per cent joblessness for the whole year of 2014, said the SWS, adding there was 25.7 per cent joblessness rate in March, end of first quarter; 25.9 per cent in June, end of second quarter; and 22.9 per cent in Sept, end of third quarter.

The 2014 average data also dwarfed the 25.2 per cent average rate of joblessness for the whole year of 2013, the SWS said.

It also reflected the lower 6.1 per cent gross domestic product (GDP) in 2014, from a high 7.2 per cent GDP in 2013, the SWS said.

"The administration has been expanding employment opportunities (in the Philippines)," said Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma.

There are 10 million legally documented overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) worldwide, representing 10 per cent of the population of 100 million in the Philippines.

Sources said there are additional five million undocumented OFWs.

OFWs have been sending an average of $26.6 billion (Dh97.7 billion) to their loved ones in the Philippines every year, the largest in Southeast Asia, and the world's third largest.

Remittances from OFWs have been ranking higher than foreign direct investment in terms of GDP percentage. OFWs are contributing to the growth of the middle class and in closing the gap between the rich and the poor in the Philippines, analysts said.

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Publication:Gulf News (United Arab Emirates)
Geographic Code:9PHIL
Date:Feb 5, 2015
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