PH labor market sustains recovery, gov’t to strengthen policies toward high-quality job creation – NEDA

As the country’s labor market conditions continue to improve, the government remains steadfast in strengthening its policy interventions geared toward generating more productive and higher-quality employment, said the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA).

The Philippine Statistics Authority reported today that the country’s unemployment rate declined to 4.8 percent in January 2023, from 6.4 percent during the same period last year.

The employment rate accelerated to 95.2 percent, which translates to an additional 4.1 million employed persons, on account of employment gains in the services and agriculture sectors in January 2023. This brings total employment to 47.4 million from 43.3 million in January 2022.

Correspondingly, the labor force participation rate rebounded to 64.5 percent, equivalent to 49.7 million Filipinos in the labor force, of which 20.6 million are women.

“The latest employment indicators show the robust recovery and growth of our labor market from its slump in January 2022, when the surge in Omicron cases prompted stringent mobility and capacity restrictions,” NEDA Secretary Arsenio M. Balisacan said.

“However, we note that employment created year-on-year were mostly part-time and classified as vulnerable.  Thus, it is imperative that labor market policies and programs that directly contribute to labor productivity and employment generation must be prioritized, not only to preserve jobs but also to generate quality jobs,” he added.

The country’s chief economist also emphasized the implementation of the strategies on human capital development outlined in the Philippine Development Plan (PDP) 2023-2028.

“High-quality jobs necessitate highly-skilled individuals. We will prioritize the upskilling and reskilling of the workforce to equip them with higher competencies by expanding  lifelong learning opportunities,” Balisacan said.

“At the same time, we will ensure that employment opportunities are available and the information accessible,” he added.