THE Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), in its October 2017 Employment Situation, reported that the underemployment rate in Davao Region has increased to 20.6 percent in October 2017 from 14.6% in the same period in 2016.
"Basing on the concept of underemployment this increase just shows that even though many are employed there are still some who are not satisfied with their present jobs and they express the desire to have additional hours of work in their present job, get an additional job or shift to a new job with longer working hours," the Department of Labor and Employment 11 said in a message to SunStar Davao Monday, April 23.
The PSA also reported that Davao Region's employment rate as of October 2017 decreased slightly to 96 percent from 96.5 percent in the same period in 2016. Unemployment, correspondingly, increased slightly to 4 percent from 3.5 percent.
In the whole country, employment posted a minimal decline to 95 percent from 95.3 percent while unemployment rate slightly increased to 5 percent from 4.7 percent. Underemployment rate for the whole country dropped to 15.1 percent from 18 percent.
Based on the data, Davao Region was the only region in Mindanao that experienced an increase in its underemployment rate.
Zamboanga Peninsula's underemployment rate was down to 8.8 percent in October 2017 from 28 percent in the same period in 2016; Northern Mindanao was at 19.4 percent from 26.7 percent; Soccsksargen was at 14.1 percent from 20 percent; Caraga was 21.9 percent from 23.9 percent; and Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao was at 5.7 percent from 14.2 percent.
In a bid to bring down the underemployment rate in the region, the Department of Labor and Employment (Dole) and the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) regional offices will be initiating efforts in partnership with the academe.
"For us here in Dole 11 our interventions include equipping these potential applicants with skills and work experience to increase their employability through our programs such as Special Program for the Employment of Students, Government Internship Program and JobStart Program," Dole 11 said.
Earlier, Dole-Davao focal person Marlito D. Ayala in a press conference said the labor agency is currently doing a series of talks with different agencies -- like the Commission on Higher Education (Ched), Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (Tesda), and the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) -- and the academe and other private companies to determine in-demand in the next four to five years.
Ayala added that as for Dole, they have their program called Jobs Fit wherein they talk with different representatives of industries to confirm what type of jobs would they need and find in-demand within four to five years-time as well as their hard-to-fill-in jobs.
“We gathered these data and we plan to relay it to the academe. We want to orient them of the future in-demand jobs so that they will be able to prepare their students. It is difficult if they take courses that may not provide them jobs after graduation,” said Ayala.
He added they have met and have provided Labor Market Info to the network of guidance counselors which they can use to their students during career orientation and employment coaching in their respective schools.
“This is for the students to have informed choices. They will be informed that the course they chose will provide them jobs upon graduation,” Ayala added.
Meanwhile, DTI 11 will be holding a series of skills training in the region as their way of helping to lessen underemployment and unemployment in the region.
"The skills training are of great help to lessen the underemployment rate, in order for the people to make alternatives thru making products and earning income,” DTI 11 development specialist Gema G. Estrada said in a pres conference earlier.