Philippines sees job market surge, economy thrives

(File photo)

By Francis Allan L. Angelo

Finance Secretary Ralph G. Recto hailed the latest Labor Force Survey results as evidence of a thriving and increasingly inclusive Philippine economy, with strong labor market improvements signaling more high-quality job opportunities for Filipinos.

According to the March 2024 Labor Force Survey, the unemployment rate in the Philippines has decreased to 3.9%, down from 4.7% in March 2023, reflecting a reduction of 416,000 unemployed persons. The total number of employed individuals has risen to 49.2 million, up from 48.6 million the previous year.

“This clearly demonstrates that the Philippine economy is not just resilient but thriving amid external challenges,” Recto said in a press statement. “More importantly, it tells us that our economic growth is becoming more inclusive as it engages more and more Filipinos to participate in the labor market.”

The services sector remains the largest employer, accounting for 61.4% of the employed population, followed by agriculture with 20.5%, and industry at 18.1%. The survey also noted a decrease in underemployment, suggesting that Filipinos are finding more stable and fulfilling jobs.

“The encouraging results reinforce our confidence that the government’s policies and interventions aimed at creating more and higher-quality jobs for the Filipino people are paying off,” Recto added.

The government attributes these improvements to several initiatives aimed at enhancing the ease of doing business in the Philippines, including economic liberalization laws and the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) Code. Another significant development is the proposed amendments to the Corporate Recovery and Tax Incentives for Enterprises (CREATE) Law, known as CREATE MORE, which aims to attract more strategic investments.

Recto emphasized the administration’s commitment to rolling out the red carpet for investors, which is expected to generate quality employment through the influx of international companies and the expansion of export-oriented industries.

Moreover, the “Build Better More” program is set to provide more jobs in construction, engineering, architecture, and consultancy, contributing to the nurturing of Filipino expertise and talent.

The government is also focusing on empowering the Filipino workforce through substantial investments in human capital development, including education, upskilling, worker training, health care, and other programs.

“The Marcos, Jr. administration has been actively engaging with global partners and investors all around the world, showcasing that the Philippines is now in its strongest position to welcome foreign investors,” Recto concluded. “By continuously improving the ease of doing business, we expect a surge in foreign investments that will not only generate quality jobs but also provide training to equip Filipino workers with the skills and technological prowess needed to excel on the global stage.”

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