Full-time jobs up in January-A A +A
Friday, March 15, 2013
QUALITY of employment improved in January 2013 as employment growth came from the wage and salary employment and as the full-time workers grew faster than part-time jobs, according to the National Economic and Development Authority (Neda).
"Employment grew in January 2013 mainly coming from the services and industry sectors and the quality of employment significantly improved in the period," Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Arsenio M. Balisacan said.
Growth in employment mainly came from more remunerative wage and salary employment, which expanded by 10.9 percent, while the growth of full-time employment, which grew by 6.5 percent, was faster relative to part-time employment.
"This is reflected in the increase in mean hours worked to 42.2 hours in January 2013 from 41.1 hours a year ago," Balisacan said.
He added that most of these wage and salaried workers were employed in private establishments, which recorded an increase of 1.9 million or 12.4 percent in January 2013.
Also, unemployment rate dropped to 7.1 percent in January 2013, an improvement from the 7.2 percent a year ago. However, the bulk of unemployed remained to be the educated workforce, mainly high school graduates (33.7 percent), college graduates (16.9 percent), and college undergraduates (13.1 percent).
"This implies insufficient employment opportunities for those lacking in work experience through education," said Balisacan.
The total number of employed Filipinos grew by 1.6 percent to 37.9 million from a year ago, led by the services and industry sectors. But this resulted in a net employment creation of 606,000 during the period, only more than half of the 1.04 million generated a year ago.
"Employment gains from the services and industry sector offset by the 571,000 net loss in agriculture as damage of typhoon “Pablo” in December 2012 lingered in January 2013," Balisacan said.
Furthermore, the underemployment rate increased to 20.9 percent in January 2013 from 18.8 percent in the same period last year. This is an increase of approximately 7.9 million employed persons.
"The high level of underemployment may be partly due to the high percentage of new labor entrants aged 15-34 years old who might have been employed as contractual or are still under probation for which the wage received is low," he explained.
Nevertheless, Balisacan said that the creation of decent and productive employment should remain as the top priority among policies and programs of the government.
"There is a need for more strategic policies and programs to address high levels of youth unemployment and high rate of underemployment especially in agriculture," he added.
In terms of education, he stressed the need to improve the employability of worker applicants, even among those with less than tertiary education.
"A more effective partnership between government and firms/establishments can provide useful inputs to the curriculum design of schools and promote skills training and apprenticeship programs," Balisacan said.
In agriculture, the problem of underemployment in the sector can be addressed by increasing effective demand for agricultural output.
"This can be done by developing more by-products from the same agricultural output, or further processing the output so that it can be sold in the urban areas," Balisacan said.
The Neda official added that it is also important to implement effective disaster response mechanisms.
"The high unemployment rate observed in Mindanao can be traced back to the effects of Pablo. But these results say that employment opportunities in the Pablo-affected areas were still lacking even after one month since the incident," he said.
These considerations, nevertheless, are already part of the strategy and action plan on employment creation being formulated by the Cabinet’s various clusters.
Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on March 16, 2013.