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Sunday, July 14, 2024

‘140k workers may lose jobs with P35 pay hike’

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But more jobs expected with rising economy—NEDA

As much as 140,000 workers may be negatively affected by the P35 daily minimum wage hike in Metro Manila that will take effect on July 17.

National Economic and Development Authority Secretary Arsenio Balisacan, however, said the the impact on the economy is “very negligible.”

“The national output GDP (gross domestic product) would be impacted negatively — just one-tenth of one percent. It is very negligible. It could increase unemployment rate but it is a negligible number,” Balisacan said.

“It could impact something like 40,000 to 140,000, depending on the region, but still again, not as big as one would expect if those were much higher,” he added.

While several employers may be unable to retain all their workers with the new wage hike, there are still some 600,000 available jobs for affected individuals to choose from, Balisacan said.

“For so long as the economy is expanding because of investments coming in, the offsets will be there that’s why the economy can still grow,” he said.

“New jobs open up in the economy and our economy continues to grow at 6 to 7 percent this year so that we’ll be accompanied by quite a lot of jobs,” Balisacan added.

Labor Secretary Bienvenido Laguesma, for his part, said DOLE continues to “closely monitor the possible impact of any wage adjustments.”

“Any transformation or anything that happens in the place of work will result in some impact whether positive or negative,” Laguesma said.

The P35 wage hike in Metro Manila will bring the daily minimum wage in the region from P610 to P645 for the non-agriculture sector and from P573 to P608 for the agriculture sector, service and retail establishments employing 15 or fewer workers, and manufacturing establishments regularly employing less than 10 workers.

The country’s unemployment rate fell  to 4.1 percent in May this year from 4.3 percent in the same period last year, according to the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA).

The unemployment rate in May, however, was slightly higher than the 4 percent recorded in April 2024.

In terms of level, the number of unemployed persons in May 2024 was estimated at 2.11 million.

This was lower than the number of unemployed persons in May 2023 at 2.17 million, but higher than the number of unemployed persons in April 2024 at 2.04 million.

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