The employment situation is still bad

DESPITE the country’s impressive economic growth, which averaged 5.4 percent a year during the past decade, the overall labor market scenario has been less positive—limiting progress on social development and inclusive growth.

Existing weaknesses in the labor market show that the number of workers living on less than $2 per day rose from 11.2 million to 13 million between 1991 and 2009. 

Aside from this, inequality remained high while poverty reduction remained impeded by poor labor quality often associated with low earnings and high vulnerability.

There are reports that vulnerable employment, measured as the share of own account and contributing family workers, steadily declined in the past years, but it still accounted for 38.4 percent of total employment in 2013, with the share of women six percentage points higher than that of men.

But labor analysts expressed optimism, however, because of deeper regional integration under the Association of Southeast Asian Nations’ Economic Community (AEC), which could increase flows of trade and investment, spur changes in the country’s economic structure and create new jobs.

Model simulations suggest that deepened trade integration under the AEC could lead to considerable economic and job gains in the Philippines. 

Fully adopting AEC trade measures could expand the country’s (Gross Domestic Product) by 7.5 percent by 2025, compared to a baseline scenario without deeper integration.”

Simulations also show a net gain of 3.1 million jobs over the baseline, representing a six percent increase in total employment. However, around 38 percent of these would be vulnerable jobs, with women accounting for just 35 percent of expected job gains.

Likewise, the share of agricultural employment would be slightly higher under the AEC (29 percent) relative to the baseline (28.6 percent) in 2025. Despite decreases in the overall share of the service sector under the AEC compared to be baseline, the trade and transportation sub-sector is poised to expand by almost one million more jobs.

 

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