SWS: Joblessness rate drops to 21.9 percent, lowest since 2004

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) — A little over two out of 10 (21.9 percent) Filipino adults in the labor force were without jobs in 2015, according to an independent survey by Social Weather Stations (SWS). The figure is the lowest since the 15.8 percent annual average reached in 2004.

According to SWS, a jobless person is defined as one who does not have a job and is looking for one. Those without a job but are not looking for one are excluded form the labor force.

Similarly, the pollster found that joblessness dipped to 21.4 percent during the last quarter of 2015, compared to the previous period's 23.7 percent.

Related: More jobs for Filipinos after APEC – DOLE

However, a stark difference was observed  between the joblessness rates of men and women during the last quarter: only 13.8 percent of males in the labor force were jobless, compared to 31.4 percent of females.

A majority of the youth were also found to be jobless. More than half (57 percent) of those aged 18-24 were jobless, in contrast to the figures of those in the 25-34 (25 percent), 25-54 (22 percent), and 45-and-over (15 percent) age groups.

The survey was conducted from December 5 to 8 using face-to-face interviews of 1,200 adults nationwide, 300 each in Metro Manila, Balance of Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao. It has a sampling error margin of +3 percent for national percentages and +6 percent for the respective regions.