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Sunday, June 16, 2024

DOLE confident unemployment rate will continue to decrease

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The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) has expressed confidence that the unemployment rate will continue to go down in the coming months with the continuous help of the private sectors, especially the business organizations, in creating and providing jobs for the people.

Meanwhile, Senate majority leader Joel Villanueva yesterday said the continuing improvement in the country’s unemployment rate was a clear indication that the economy, particularly the labor sector, has fully recovered. He said this is also an indication that the policies being implemented by the government are working.

“We continue to really work on the sustainability of these positive developments to our  employment rate, and with the continuous help of the private sectors, especially business organizations existing in the country, we are quite confident that this will continue,” Labor Secretary Bienvenido  Laguesma said in an interview.

“We are hoping that the unemployment rate will continue to decline, with the help of the  private sector to create more quality jobs, more productive, remunerative and  long-term or permanent jobs,” he said.

“We will continue to move on and really monitor closely the developments to our world of work and make sure that the Labor and Employment Plan will be on track and aligned with the Philippine Development Plan for 2023-2028,” he added.

Laguesma attributed the decline in the unemployment scenario to the further opening of the economy following the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as the inter-agency efforts to provide more jobs.

The DOLE chief also cited the foreign engagements of President Ferdinand  Marcos Jr., which resulted in billions of pesos worth of pledges and thousands of jobs which are expected to materialize during the first quarter of the year.

“The challenge remains to be able to generate and create quality jobs. The quality jobs are the ones we are hoping for and hopefully, with the pledges and commitment of investors to President Marcos,” Laguesma said.

Some 200,000 jobs are expected to be generated as a result of the President’s engagements abroad, he added.

In terms of other measures to generate jobs on top of investment pledges, Laguesma said they are also continuously working on the ease of doing business and expediting employment processes to allow businesses to grow in the country.

“We try to provide an enabling environment conducive to investment like maintaining and promoting industrial peace, making sure that respect for workers’ rights, as well as rights of employers, should always be there. We’d also like to strengthen our efforts toward youth employability,” he said.

Villanueva said cautioned however, that their job “ïs not done yet.”

Villanueva cited the need to see a sustained effort to keep our unemployment numbers low and not only during the holiday season.

“This is why it is very important that we fast track the completion of the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of the Trabaho Para Sa Bayan (TPB) Act, as instructed by no less than President Bongbong Marcos,” he said.

The full implementation of the TPB Act, a measure which we principally sponsored and authored,  according to the senator, will ensure that we will have a comprehensive and synergized employment plan.

He said this plan is aligned with their incentive system giving priority to education, training, and employment generation.

He pointed out that quality  laws, like the TPB, are the product of the hard work of the Senate as an institution in crafting laws that would benefit the people.

Villanueva commended the decline of our unemployment rate to 3.6 percent last November 2023 from 4.2% in October, the lowest unemployment rate since 2005.

Joblessness in the country fu ther declined to 3.6 percent in November 2023 from 4.2 percent recorded both in October 2023 and November 2022, the latest Labor Force Survey by the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) showed.

The latest rate is the lowest since 2005 and translates to 1.83 million unemployed Filipinos – down from 2.18 million for the same period last year and from 2.09 million in October 2023.

Employment rate likewise improved from 95.8 percent to 96.4 percent, translating to 49.64 million Filipinos having jobs. Underemployment rate also dropped to 11.7 percent from 14.4 percent in November 2022 and 11.7 percent in October 2023.

The year-on-year increase in employment is a result of the annual employment increase in the agriculture and forestry sub-sector (1.24 million), construction (453,000), transportation and storage (308,000), fishing and aquaculture (305,000), and administrative and support service activities (189,000).

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