NEDA survey reports more stable employment in October 2017

 

By Rose de la Cruz

 

The October 2017 Labor Force Survey of the Philippine Statistics Authority showed that the number of remunerative and stable wage/salaried workers increased by 624,000 while vulnerable employment (the proportion of those self employed and unpaid family workers) declined to 33.9 percent, an improvement from 36.3 percent last year.

 

Similarly, underemployment recorded a lower rate in over 10 years, despite the decrease in total employment in October, the PSA (ana ttached agency of the National Economic and Development Authority) explained.  

 

Underemployment, or the proprortion of employed wanting additional work hours, declined to 15.9 percent in October 2017. This is lower by 2.1 percentage points from the 18.0 percent recorded in 2016.

The said rate represents approximately 893,000 less underemployed workers.

 

This is so despite the decrease in total employment to 41.6 million in October 2017, lower by 0.3 percentage points from a year ago, and employment rate also being down to 95 percent from 95.3 percent in 2016.

 

“The lower underemployment rate and the higher proportion of wage and salary workers indicate improvement in the quality of employment in the country,” Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto M. Pernia said.

 

These developments were due to the conduct of regular job fairs and provision of livelihood assistance that contributed to the improvement of underemployment especially in areas outside of the National Capital Region. This is a good indicator that our efforts in the lagging regions are starting to take effect,” the Cabinet official said.

 

Underemployment in Areas outside the NCR (AONCR) registered 17 percent, lower by 2.6 points from the 19.6 percent in 2016.

 

However, total employment decreased to 41.6 million in October 2017, lower by 0.3 points from a year ago. Employment rate also fell to 95 percent from 95.3 percent in 2016.

 

Agriculture, accounting for 25 percent of the country’s total employment, shed around 1.4 million employment (-12.1%). The said sector contributed to the setback in the overall employment rate in October 2017.

 

Pernia emphasized the need to closely monitor the agriculture sector to ensure that those engaged in agriculture are highly productive and resilient and are increasingly linked to the industry and services sectors.

 

“Agriculture sector is very vulnerable to risks including natural and man-made hazards. The government should strengthen early warning systems and social protection programs for the sector to ensure resiliency of agricultural communities,” he said.

He added that the sector requires sustainable productivity improvements by promoting value addition, product diversification, and accelerating local infrastructure provision like irrigation systems and farm-to-market roads.

 

Industry and services, which accounted for 75.1 percent of the total employment, increased by 5.2 percent and 4 percent, respectively.

 

NEDA also emphasized the need to pursue policies to increase labor force participation of women, including: (a) the full implementation of the Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health (RPRH) Law; (b) improved access and affordability of child care services; (c) policies that promote work-life balance, including a regulatory framework to allow part-time work and work-from-home even in the formal sector; (d) the provision of re-training services for women returning to the workforce; (e) enhancing maternal and paternal benefits; and (f) improved access of women to entrepreneurial opportunities.

 

The LFS is a nationwide quarterly survey of households to gather data on the demographic and socio-economic characteristics of the population and provide statistics on levels and trends of employment, unemployment, and underemployment in the country.

 

 

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