2.11M jobless Pinoys in May

2.11M jobless Pinoys in May
EMPLOYED. The country logs 48.87 million employed Filipinos in May, slightly up from the 48.26 million employed Filipinos in the same month last year. FILE

The country’s jobless rate dropped to 4.1 percent in May from 4.3 percent in the same period last year.

This translates to an estimated 2.11 million jobless Filipinos, according to the Philippine Statistics Authority on Monday, July 8, 2024.

The improvement in the country’s jobless count was mainly due to the expansion of industry and service sectors which provided more than 1.2 million jobs and 982,000 jobs, respectively.

The construction and manufacturing sub-sectors also grew significantly, adding 745,000 and 347,000 jobs, respectively.

The May 2024 Labor Force Survey reported there were about 48.87 million employed Filipinos recorded in May, slightly up from the 48.26 million employed Filipinos in the same month last year.

Meanwhile, the agriculture sector lost 1.6 million jobs in May.

The National Economic and Development Authority (Neda) said this is due to the impact of El Niño and Typhoon Aghon, while geopolitical tensions in the West Philippine Sea negatively affected fishing activities in the area.

Other sectors that shed jobs were arts, entertainment and recreation (-178 thousand); real estate activities (-152 thousand); and professional, scientific and technical activities (-83 thousand).

Moreover, there was a significant increase in high-quality jobs, as underemployment decreased to 9.9 percent in May 2024 from 11.7 percent in May 2023—the lowest since 2005.

The survey results also showed an increase in middle-skilled employment by two million, wage and salaried employment by 1.5 million (including 1.3 million in private establishments), and full-time jobs by 2.8 million. Moreover, there was a notable decrease in the number of Filipinos working part-time (1.7 million) and in vulnerable employment (763,000) compared to the previous year.

To sustain the country’s robust labor sector, the government launched the National Artificial Intelligence (AI) Strategy Roadmap 2.0, which according to Neda, is expected to fast-track AI development in the country, expand upskilling programs to equip the workforce and increase the uptake of AI-enabled processes and solutions by the business sector.

Neda is also currently crafting the Trabaho Para sa Bayan (TPB) Plan.

The TPB Plan will serve as the country’s blueprint for comprehensive employment generation and recovery. It will outline robust employment policies with strong implementation measures and concrete targets.

“We want to involve both employers and workers in understanding how various changes in the economy, society and the environment have been affecting the world of work and how the different labor market actors have been adjusting to the changes. The key is to identify effective and efficient solutions to their challenges and may continue to encounter,” said Neda Secretary Arsenio Balisacan.

Neda is committed to finalizing this plan by the end of the year. / Fred Leander Baldos, VSU Intern with KOC

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