Rosy labor market to fuel spending—Diokno

The Department of Finance (DOF) is optimistic that the rosy domestic labor market would fuel consumer spending that supports the country’s economic recovery from the prolonged-pandemic.

In a statement on Wednesday, Nov. 9, Finance Secretary Benjamin E. Diokno said the latest Labor Force Survey (LFS), which showed the highest employment rate since the onset of the pandemic, is a welcome development.

Diokno noted that the high employment figures indicated the country’s continued economic recovery after it regained the employment losses due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

“We expect that the strong labor market will continue to fuel domestic demand and support the country’s economic growth,” Diokno said. “The jobs market is seeing continued positive developments as economic activity normalizes.”

Based on the LFS results released by the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), a total of 47.6 million Filipinos were employed in September, translating to a 9.2 percent growth from 43.6 million in the same period last year.

Meanwhile, out of the 76.83 million Filipinos aged 15 years and over, the PSA recorded a labor force participation rate (LFPR) of about 50.08 million individuals––equivalent to 65.2 percent. This indicates that a greater share of the population is returning to the labor force.

“The quality of employment is also improving. The employment growth was mainly contributed by wage and salary workers, particularly in private establishments,” Diokno said.

Moreover, the unemployment rate is continuing its downtrend to 5.0 percent from the 8.9 percent a year ago. This figure is the lowest since the 4.6 percent outturn in the last quarter of the pre-pandemic period in 2019.

The economy was able to accommodate most of the workforce influx, as the unemployment rate declined year-on-year, translating to 1.8 million fewer unemployed individuals.

Across sectors, services continued to dominate the jobs market as it registered the largest share of employment at 58.9 percent, followed by agriculture and industry at 22.5 percent and 18.6 percent, respectively.

The manufacturing, wholesale and retail trade, and agriculture and forestry sub-sectors recorded the biggest gains in employment.

Moving forward, Diokno said the government commits to creating high quality and green jobs in the medium-term through the Marcos administration’s eight-point socioeconomic agenda.

Diokno reiterated his commitment to invest in human capital development, saying, “We have a large pool of young, highly-skilled, and tech-savvy workers that is ready to compete with the global workforce.”

At present, the government is working to reduce high inflation by increasing productivity and providing rehabilitation support to sectors that were adversely affected by recent typhoons.