MANILA The July 2018 round of the Labor Force Survey (LFS) reported strong job creation, as the Philippine economy added an estimated 488,000 jobs, putting the total number of employed Filipinos at 40.7 million.
This translates to an employment rate of 94.6 percent, which is tied for the highest recorded employment outturn in the last decade.
Conversely, the unemployment rate fell to 5.4 percent from the 5.6 percent recorded in July 2017.
For reference, the unemployment rate 10 years ago (July 2008) was at 7.4 percent.
We are happy to report that Filipinos are finding more and better jobs, as reflected by the latest Labor Force Survey, Budget and Management Secretary Benjamin E. Diokno said in a statement on Friday. We understand that quality jobs for Filipino workers will enable them to provide for their families and invest in their children's future, particularly in education and healthcare.
Services continue to account for the largest share of the country's total employment at 57.5 percent, followed by agriculture at 23.1 percent.
Meanwhile, the industry sector reached its highest employment share in a decade at 19.4 percent. This reflects sustained job creation in the sector, particularly in manufacturing and construction, fueled by the Build Build Build program and direct investment inflows.
For the first seven months of the year, infrastructure and other capital outlays already reached PHP437.2 billion, rising by 47 percent, year-on-year.
Higher spending for public infrastructure has translated to better employment prospects in the manufacturing and construction sectors, adding 142,000 and 31,000 jobs, respectively.
But then, underemployment inched from 17.2 percent in July 2017 to 18.6 percent in July 2018.
We assure the public that the economic policies of the government remain apt to support the creation of quality jobs, Diokno said. The Build Build Build Program will open up economic opportunities for our workers and attract direct investments, fueling further job creation. We are investing on human capital development to educate and hone the skills of our people. An agile, equipped, and competent workforce will address skills-mismatch problems and secure high-paying jobs for our workers. We should also provide additional protection for our workers, while maintaining flexibility in the labor market, to create an environment conducive to job creation.
As much as 40 percent of the national budget is allocated for human capital investments, especially in education, skills-training, healthcare, and social services.
In the proposed 2019 budget, the Department of Education (DepEd) has alloted PHP390.8 billion for the Support to Schools and Learners Program, ensuring accessible and high-quality basic education for more than 22.1 million learners in public schools.
Another PHP1.9 billion in the DepEd budget is allocated for the Education Human Resource Development Program to provide training to teachers and other school personnel.
For technical-vocational training, the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) is allocated P14.8 billion in the proposed 2019 budget. Of this amount, PHP7 billion is allotted for the Free Technical and Vocational Education and Training, which will benefit more than 200,000 enrolees. (PR)
Source: Philippine News Agency