DOLE assures stable employment situation

Following the release of results of the Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey on joblessness, Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III assured the public that the employment situation is stable and that the labor department is steadfast in its employment facilitation services and the preservation and protection of employment.

“We recognize the SWS survey result, but on the other hand, we need to see the larger picture. The Labor Force Survey conducted by the Philippine Statistics Authority says that the unemployment rate has decreased,” said Labor Secretary Bello citing the unemployment rate of 5.4 percent (2.3 million Filipinos) in the July 2018 round of the LFS.

The third quarter survey of the SWS meanwhile, showed that adult joblessness is at 22 percent (9.8 million adults).

The Labor Force Survey is the official source of employment information, the processes and criteria in the determination of which is adopted by the global economies, added Bello.

Meanwhile, Undersecretary Renato Ebarle said that factors that account for the difference in the SWS and PSA surveys include the sample population, age, reference period of the survey, and criteria used to define unemployment.

The July 2018 round of the LFS reflected the country’s steady economic growth as the proportion of working persons in the labor force, or the employment rate inched up to 94.6 percent from 94.4 percent in July 2017.

Undersecretary Ebarle said that the number of employed persons exhibited a generally increasing trend. On the average, employment grew annually by 2.1 percent for the period 2010-2017.

However, he added that these positive gains were also offset as underemployment rate marginally increased by 0.9 percentage points from 16.3 percent to 17.2 percent during the same round of the LFS.

Addressing these setbacks, Bello emphasized the need to attract more investments to the country.

“Job creation is the effect of investment. If there are more investments in the country, they generate more jobs for the people. Our aim is to secure employment, make employment more meaningful, more productive, and more beneficial to the workers, which in turn will provide productivity to our employers and business establishments,” Bello said.

He added that the government is on the right track when it comes to enabling policies such as the Ease-of-Doing Business, and the implementation of the Build Build Build program, among others.