According to the Philippine Statistical Authority (PSA), the Philippines’ unemployment rate dropped from 7.3 percent last year to 6.7 percent in July this year.
In addition to that, findings from the Labor Force Survey (LFS) indicated that 93.3 percent of the Philippine workforce (Filipinos aged 15 upwards) are already employed. The National Economic and Development Authority, on the other hand, pointed out that a 2.8 percent growth was seen in the number of employed Filipinos - pushing the total from 37.4 million in July 2013 to 38.5 million in July 2014. Overall, 1.06 million jobs were created in one year.
PSA noted that workers who are looking for additional opportunities other than their current jobs are considered underemployed, and the underemployment rate also decreased from last year’s 19.2 percent to 18.3 percent. It was likewise stated that the National Capital Region (89.7 percent), Central Luzon (91.7 percent), and CALABARZON (92 percent) posted employment rates which are lower than the national average.
Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Arsenio Balisacan said the government should continue in developing the economy and its labor market so it could attract and accommodate business and investments. He noted that labor-intensive industries should cultivate the workforce and urged businesses to maximize the supply of workers in the country. Demand for labor can also be improved through the infrastructure program of the government, particularly in regions that need extra hands in private construction such as Visayas and other areas affected by disasters. As for services, sales should be increased to funnel in job opportunities. Some of the sectors that can address these issues are business process outsourcing (BPO) and tourism.