With unemployment easing to 6.7 percent, Baldoz pledges intensified efforts to facilitate employment creation

Labor and Employment Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz yesterday expressed optimism that the employment gains as shown by the  2014 July Labor Force Survey of the Philippine Statistics Authority will be sustained through the last quarter of the year and the rest of the term of the Aquino III administration, and pledged to work harder to facilitate employment creation.

“I am elated by the result of this official survey on employment by the Philippine Statistics Authority. I can now see signs of job-led growth in the horizon. The growth in employment of 1.061 million new employed persons in the 2014 July LFS follows the 1.654 million new employed persons in the 2014 April LFS and the 606,000 new employed persons in the 2014 January LFS,” said Baldoz in a media release.

The 2014 July LFS showed a 93.3 percent employment rate, which means 38.451 million Filipinos have jobs in July this year compared to 37.490 million, or a rate of 92.7 percent, in 2013 July.

“Correspondingly, the 6.7 unemployment rate shown by the 2014 July survey round, down from the 7.3 percent unemployment in 2013 July, almost approximates the country’s GDP growth for the second quarter of 2014,” said Baldoz.

The labor and employment chief said the result of the 2014 July LFS, the third survey round this year, indicates a continuing uptrend in the labor market which began in April this year. “There is an upward momentum in the performance of the labor market,” she observed.

Baldoz also noted the continuing decline in under-employment. “I am pleased about the decrease of number of underemployed Filipinos. From 19.2 percent in 2014 July, underemployment has gone down to 18.3 percent in 2014 July. This meant a reduction of 119,000 in the number of unemployed persons from 7.169 million a year ago to 7.050 in July this year,” she said.

In the July 2014 LFS, the employment growth was exhibited mostly by the growth in private sector wage employment, with the number of wage and salary workers rising from 21.799 million in 2013 July to 22.444 million in 2014 July. “Of this 22.444 million, 17.222 million were wage and salary workers in the private sector.

Baldoz also observed that employment growth was broad-based, with all three major sectors showing increased number of employment. Employment in services and industry employment led the three sectors, growing by 3.9 percent (+772,000) and 3.9 percent (228,000), respectively. Employment in agriculture followed, with an increase of 0.5 percent (+61,000).

With the overall improvements in the employment situation, Baldoz pledged that the DOLE under her leadership will intensify some more its efforts to facilitate employment and enhance the employability of more Filipino workers and the productivity of productivity and competitiveness of business establishments, particularly the micro, small, and medium enterprises which account for 99 percent of all businesses and 61 percent of total employment in the country.

“In convergence with other government agencies, we will not rest in delivering up-to-date and relevant labor market information to our workers, in enhancing their skills to increase their employability, and in providing free technical assistance, programs, and services to SMEs to improve productivity,” she said.

“We shall also continue to promote awareness on  labor standards and occupational safety and health to foster a culture of voluntary compliance with all labor laws, and to sustain industrial peace that will attract more job-generating investments,” she added.

END/letmaring

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