Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz
Department of Labor and Employment
10 December 2015
Labor and Employment Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz yesterday issued the statement below following the release by the Philippine Statistics Office of its 2015 October Labor Force Survey:
“I welcome the positive result of the 2015 October round of the Labor Force Survey, with a pledge on behalf of the Department of Labor and Employment to press harder forward in the next six months with our reform programs and services that I believe have contributed—and continues to contribute—positively to the national goal of employment generation and poverty reduction towards inclusive growth.
“The result of the 2015 October LFS affirms the results of previous PSA labor force surveys showing that the administration of President Benigno S. Aquino III has achieved concrete gains in decent work.
“In this particular survey round, the net increase in the number of employed persons (+163,000) is marked by quality employment, as shown by the number of employed persons working full time, or those who worked 40 hours or more, reaching 25.892 million, or an increase of 691,000 over the 24.720 million posted in the 2014 October LFS round.
“The services sector is still the biggest source of increase in employment, posting a net gain of 440,000 which, when combined with the increase of 169,000 posted by the industry sector, offset the losses of 446,000 recorded in agriculture, obviously on account of the El Nino phenomenon.
“In the industry sector, construction recorded an increase of 144,000, followed by manufacturing (+35,000). In the services sector, one of the gainers were public administration and defense; and compulsory social security; education; and human health and social work activities, results which could indicate increased government spending for social services.
“Another indicator of decent work gains is the number of wage and salary workers. In this survey round, the number of wage and salary workers reached 23.127 million, 573,000 higher than the 22.554 million recorded in the 2014 October LFS round. Conversely, those who are self-employed without any paid employee declined by 123,000, while those who worked without pay in own family-operated businesses—the so-called unpaid family workers—also decreased by 385,000, from 4.171 million in the 2014 October LFS round to 3.786 million in the current survey round.
“This made a dent in vulnerable employment—a recurring challenge, like youth unemployment. In this survey round, the proportion of the self-employed and unpaid family workers to total employment has gone down from 39 percent to 37.5 percent.
“Overall, I am pleased that the number of unemployed persons continues to decrease, reaching 2.345 million in this survey round from the 2.482 million in the same round last year, effectively pegging the unemployment rate at 5.7 percent, the sixth consecutive round that the unemployment rate had dipped below 7 percent and the 20th consecutive survey round that the unemployment rate has remained a single-digit.
“I am also elated that the number of underemployed Filipinos has declined by almost half a million (-413,000), reaching only 6.866 million in this survey round compared to the 7.278 million in the 2014 October LFS round.
“The continued decline in youth unemployment is also good news. From 14.2 percent in October 2014, youth unemployment rate improved to 13.6 percent in the 2015 October LFS.
Regionally, seven regions—2, 6, 8, 9, 10, and ARMM—posted employment declines, decreasing in total by 222,000, but these were offset by gains in the other 10 regions, which posted a total increase of 386,000 employed persons. Region 7 posted the highest gain in employment, with four percent, followed by Region 4-B, with 2.7 percent, and CAR and Caraga, gaining 2.4 percent each.
The region with the biggest decline is Region 8, ARMM, with a five percent decline, followed by Region 8, with a negative 3.2 percent, and Region 10, with -2.7.
Like the results of previous LFS rounds, this latest official survey of the employment situation gives us at the DOLE plenty of hope—and work ahead.
“As I earlier said, we commit to redouble our efforts in the implementation of our programs addressing the problem of youth unemployment, such as the Special Program for Employment of Students (SPES); Youth Entrepreneurship Program; Government Internship Program; and JobStart Philippines, a DOLE-ADB-Canada joint program that aims to shorten school-to-work transition and increase youth employability by providing the youth, local government units, and Public Employment Service Offices, with full-cycle employment facilitation services, including life skills and technical training.
“The SPES, the most popular and extensive of all DOLE’s employment facilitation programs, continues to help thousands of poor, but deserving, students gain preparatory experience for the world of work and at the same time to earn money for their education. This year, the SPES has benefited 202,272 with a budget of P697.721 million.
I make particular mention of the GIP. From 198 beneficiaries in 2013, the number of young and talented Filipino youth who were given the opportunity to join the DOLE and other government agencies for them to get a feel of government work, had reached 11,413 this year, bringing the total to 33,935. This is opening up equal opportunities even for the youth in far-flung communities.
“Our hope is also placed high on JobStart Philippines, which aims to provide young people the best possible full-cycle employment facilitation services, including a tried-and-tested strategic range of enhanced career assessment and guidance, life-skills training, technical skills training, and internship. JobStart will take full swing with its roll-out this year in the cities of Cebu, Mandaluyong, Davao, Tagum, Puerto Princesa, Caloocan, Pasay, Dumaguete, and Cagayan de Oro, and Bohol Province. Thus far, 1,413 youths have benefited from the program.