PHL boosts job quality with human capital and infra investments

The Philippine government is reinforcing its commitment to creating high-quality jobs by focusing on human capital investment, industry revitalization, and extensive infrastructure development, according to the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA).

The Philippine Statistics Authority reported a drop in the unemployment rate to 4.0% in April 2024 from 4.5% in April 2023.

However, the underemployment rate rose to 14.6% from 12.9%, adding 833,000 underemployed individuals due to a higher number of invisibly underemployed workers.

Labor force participation also showed a slight decrease, with the rate falling to 64.1% in April 2024 from 65.1% the previous year.

Notably, the youth labor force participation rate declined to 32.6% from 34.7% as more young individuals chose to pursue education.

Despite these challenges, there was a significant increase in middle-skilled occupations, with an addition of 1.3 million jobs, and a rise in full-time employment by 6.1 million, indicating improvements in job quality.

“The government’s massive infrastructure push is expected to create opportunities in several priority sectors, such as energy, logistics, and tourism. The government will also explore opportunities for quality job growth in the mining sector, leveraging available technologies to develop value-adding activities such as mineral processing,” NEDA Secretary Arsenio M. Balisacan stated.

President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. signed Executive Order No. 59 on April 30, aiming to expedite the implementation of the country’s Infrastructure Flagship Projects and improve the ease of doing business.

The initiative is anticipated to further stimulate investments and job creation.

The government is actively enhancing the investment landscape to maintain labor market gains by addressing bottlenecks and streamlining processes, ensuring the efficient realization of investment commitments.

“Investing in human capital—improving education, healthcare, and social services—remains a top priority. The government is currently drafting the Trabaho Para sa Bayan (TPB) Plan, which will serve as the country’s comprehensive employment generation and recovery master plan. It aims to address unemployment, underemployment, informal working arrangements, and other labor market challenges,” Balisacan added.

The TPB Plan focuses on improving the employability and competitiveness of Filipino workers through upskilling and reskilling initiatives. Support for micro, small, and medium enterprises, and industry stakeholders is also integral to the plan.

“The government aims to assist Filipino workers in the digital age. Initiatives include reducing job search duration, upskilling the workforce, and facilitating the transition towards higher-income jobs. The urgent passage of next-generation reforms, including the Konektadong Pinoy Bill, will play a crucial role in opening up more work opportunities and developing digital skills among the workforce,” Balisacan said.

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