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Sunday, June 22, 2008

One in five workers does not earn enough, seeks more work

Data from the April 2008 Labor Force Survey (LFS) shows that one in five employed workers reported that they were seeking more work because they were not earning enough for their and their families’ needs, according to research group IBON Foundation.

The April LFS showed that the underemployment rate, or the percentage of employed workers who said they were looking for more work, grew to 6.6 million workers during the survey period, from 6.4 million in the same period last year. More significantly, the growth was in those considered ‘invisibly’ underemployed, or those who already worked 40 hours or more a week.

This means that many wage and salary workers employed in the formal sector do not earn enough for their needs. These figures could even be understated, according to IBON, since only those surveyed who reported that they were seeking more work were classified as “underemployed” .

An earlier IBON study had shown that even after a recent round of wage hikes, adjusted daily minimum wages were still not enough to cover the basic cost of living. In its April survey, IBON reported that 71% of Filipinos was not earning enough to meet their families’ basic needs.

The government survey reflects the country’s employment situation where unemployment is in an all-time high and jobs are low-paying and low in quality that workers continue to seek more work. Amid rising prices, the country’s employment situation remains the greatest challenge for the Arroyo administration. (end)

IBON Foundation, Inc. is an independent development institution established in 1978 that provides research, education, publications, information work and advocacy support on socioeconomic issues.

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