By Mariedel Irish U. Catilogo
The Philippines’ unemployment price fell to a two-year low in January as the dimensions of the workforce shrank as a consequence of stricter mobility curbs within the capital area, the federal government mentioned.
Preliminary outcomes of the Philippine Statistics Authority’s (PSA) January spherical of the Labor Drive Survey confirmed the jobless price stood at 6.4%, barely easing from 6.6% in December and eight.8% in January 2021.
This was the bottom share of the jobless to the entire labor power in two years or for the reason that 5.3% in January 2020 earlier than the pandemic started.
In absolute phrases, the variety of unemployed Filipinos decreased by 347,000 to 2.925 million in January, from 3.272 million in December. It went down by 1.038 million to three.964 million from a yr in the past.
“Nonetheless, as a result of Omicron surge in January, the labor power participation price fell from 65.1% to 60.5%,” the Nationwide Financial and Growth Authority (NEDA) mentioned in an announcement. “One more reason for decrease employment ranges is the top of the vacation season which sheds off seasonal jobs. Regardless of this, internet employment stays at 0.5 million above the pre-pandemic stage.”
Metro Manila and different components of the nation have been as soon as once more positioned beneath Alert Degree 3 in January to comprise the Omicron-driven surge in new coronavirus illness 2019 (COVID-19) circumstances.
The scale of the labor power in January fell month on month by 3.603 million to 45.943 million. On a year-on-year foundation, the dimensions of the workforce rose by 732,000 from 45.212 million.
This translated to a labor power participation price — the entire labor inventory to the working age inhabitants of 15 years previous and over — of 60.5%. This was the bottom stage in six months or since a workforce measurement of 44.740 million and an LFPR of 59.8% in July final yr.
With the decrease stage of labor power that month, the employment price — the share of the employed to the entire working power — elevated to 93.6%, larger than December’s 93.4% and January’s 91.2%.
In absolute phrases, employed Filipinos reached 43.018 million in January, decrease by 3.256 million from earlier month’s 46.274 million. Nonetheless, it was larger by 1.770 million from 41.248 million employed a yr in the past.
“The Omicron surge induced a short lived decline in our employment ranges. Now that now we have contained the unfold of the virus and shifted to Alert Degree 1 in most components of the nation, we look ahead to an enchancment in employment outcomes within the coming months,” Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Karl Kendrick T. Chua mentioned in an announcement.
Nonetheless, the standard of accessible jobs barely worsened because the underemployment price — the proportion of these already working, however nonetheless searching for extra work or longer working hours to the entire employed — rose to a six-month excessive of 14.9% in January from 14.7% in December.
This was equal to six.397 million underemployed Filipinos, down by 414,000 from December’s 6.811 million.
A Filipino employee clocked in a median of 41.8 hours per week in January, 2.1 hours greater than 39.7 hours in every week in December.
Greater than half have been employed within the companies sector in January (58.9% from 56.6% in December), whereas agriculture accounted for 19.3% (from 17.8%) and business’s 19.3% (from 17.8%).
The reopening of the economic system resulted within the creation of extra jobs, however job high quality has remained within the doldrums, College of Asia and the Pacific Senior Economist Cid L. Terosa mentioned in an e-mail interview.
“Which means that the roles that have been created have been both transitory or informal jobs,” he mentioned.
In a separate e-mail, Union Financial institution of the Philippines Chief Economist Ruben Carlo O. Asuncion mentioned stricter quarantine restrictions contributed to the decline in complete working power.
“There may be additionally seasonality with lesser individuals being employed, notably in agriculture, after the planting and sure harvest months,” he mentioned.
In the meantime, Sentro ng mga Nagkakaisa at Progresibong Manggagawa (SENTRO) Secretary Basic Josua T. Mata is anticipating a “bullish economic system” for the approaching months as restrictions ease, however famous a tough restoration in some sectors corresponding to tourism.
“The easing of restrictions and the election spending would have a constructive affect on the employment sector. Nonetheless, inflationary pressures might dampen employment technology particularly if oil costs proceed to hike,” he mentioned in e-mail interview.
For the primary quarter, the results of the economic system’s reopening and the downgrade to Alert Degree 1 will probably be apparent and the return to pre-pandemic ranges of employment could also be “simply across the nook,” Mr. Asuncion mentioned.
“Nonetheless, the geopolitical dangers of late might should delay the return to pre-pandemic employment due to the draw back threat of rising inflation and dampened enterprise initiatives,” he mentioned.
Mr. Terosa mentioned the labor information in February will probably be the identical as the present month, citing the affect of the Russia-Ukraine disaster on the nation’s financial restoration.
“I consider, nonetheless, that the destructive results of the geopolitical pressure fomented by the Russia-Ukraine struggle will finally present itself within the labor market. Rising costs and prices of doing enterprise, notably in March 2022, will thwart early indicators of restoration within the labor market,” Mr. Terosa added.
“With out this unlucky exterior issue, I might have been optimistic that the labor market would return to normalcy after the primary semester of 2022,” Mr. Asuncion mentioned.
In late February, Russia invaded Ukraine within the pretext of demilitarization and “denazification,” sending shockwaves within the international economic system. International commodity costs, notably oil, surged to multiyear highs.
Worldwide benchmark Brent crude, for one, soared previous $100 per barrel for the primary time since 2014 at first of the invasion. Native pump costs additionally skyrocketed, driving up prices of primary items and companies.
NEDA mentioned the federal government is about to distribute assist amounting to P6.1 billion to move, agriculture and fisheries staff to reduce the inflationary pressures introduced by the Russia-Ukraine battle.
As well as, money help amounting P2,400 will probably be given to the underside 50% of Filipino households affected by the rising costs of primary items.