Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz
Department of Labor and Employment
15 March 2016
Labor and Employment Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz yesterday issued the statement below following the release by the Philippine Statistics Office of its 2016 January Labor Force Survey:
“The result of the 2016 January Labor Force Survey is a welcome piece of good news. It strongly reinforces the concrete gains of the administration of President Benigno S. Aquino III in decent work.
“In this first Labor Force Survey round of the Philippine Statistics Authority, the net increase in the number of employed persons (+752,000) occurred in a broad spectrum of the services and industry sectors, but admittedly, this increase was marred by the huge decline in the number of employed persons in the agriculture sector (-935,000).
“Quality employment, as shown by the number of wage and salary workers, marked this survey round’s employment growth, reaching 24.808 million, or an increase of 2.675 million over the 22.134 million of wage and salary workers recorded in the 2015 January LFS round.
“Correspondingly, the number of persons who worked without pay in own family-operated farm or business—those considered unpaid family workers—decreased by 28.3 percent to 33.4 million, from 39.4 million a year ago. The number of self-employed persons without any paid employee also decreased, by 7.9 percent, from 10.944 million in January 2015 to 10.079 in January 2016.
“Likewise, the number of employed persons working full time, or those who worked 40 hours or more, grew, reaching 26.449 million, or an increase of 2.767 million over the 23.683 million in employed persons recorded in the 2015 January LFS round.
“The number of young, unemployed persons, aged 15-24 years old has also continued to decrease, from 1.274 million in January 2015 to 1.169 million in this survey round. That was a reduction of 105,000, but youth unemployment was still 48.2 percent of the total 2.424 million unemployed Filipinos. The bulk of these unemployed young people are high school graduates, at 800,000. Unemployed college graduates stood at 480,000.
“I am happy to note that overall unemployment is down from 6.6 percent a year ago to 5.8 percent this January 2016, the seventh consecutive round that the unemployment rate had dipped below 7 percent and the 21st consecutive survey rounds that the unemployment rate has remained in single-digit.
But the number of underemployed persons remains one of the crucial, recurring challenges—like youth unemployment—that need to be addressed. Underemployment went up, from 17.9 percent in January 2015 to 19.7 percent.
“Ever optimistic despite the challenges, we at the DOLE remain focused on our pledge to press harder forward in the remaining months of this administration 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. 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.
“I reiterate our commitment 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.
“The Government Internship Program is also contributing to our earnest effort to prepare our workers for the world of work. 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 in 2015, 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 is in full swing now with its roll-out in the cities of Cebu, Mandaluyong, Davao, Tagum, Puerto Princesa, Caloocan, Pasay, Dumaguete, and Cagayan de Oro, and Bohol Province.
“With our DOLE Integrated Livelihood and Emergency Employment Program (DILEEP), we provide our workers with viable option outside wage employment. With proper and correct preparation, we see more Filipinos as micro and small entrepreneurs engaged in productive endeavors.
“We have just launched the enhanced PhilJobNet, which is at the core of our employment facilitation programs and services. With its technology make-over, with more functions and ease of access and use, the e-PhilJobNet, the official portal of the government in job search, job matching, and labor market information delivery, is expected to shorten the job search of job seekers and the worker search of employers.”