Businesses seen to hire more employees by Q4By Paolo G. Montecillo
Philippine Daily Inquirer
A significant improvement in the job market can be expected in the fourth quarter this year as businesses look to hire more employees amid an expected surge in economic activity in the runup to the Christmas holidays.
The results of a recent employment and expansion plans survey by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) showed that the overall employment outlook index of local businesses jumped to a record high of 31.7 percent from the previous 24.1 percent.
The employment outlook index is an indication of hiring plans of companies for the following quarter. A higher score means more companies surveyed said they would increase the number of their employee than those that said they would keep their headcount steady.
The BSP said the index was “another indicator providing support to expectations of sustained growth… for the next quarter.”
The survey showed construction companies were the most optimistic in their employment outlook for the fourth quarter, the BSP said. Likewise, services, wholesale, and retail trade firms were bullish on their hiring plans.
In line with the bullish results on hiring plans, the BSP said companies surveyed also showed optimism regarding the expansion of their respective businesses. The percentage of companies that said they would expand operations in the fourth quarter reached 32.1 percent, net of companies that said their operations would remain the same.
“Across sub-sectors, mining and quarrying recorded the most robust expansion plans, followed by agriculture, fishery and forestry; electricity, gas, and water; and manufacturing,” the BSP said.
The favorable hiring outlook for the fourth quarter comes amid criticism against the government for failure to make a dent in the country’s unemployment figures despite the economy’s healthy growth over the past two years.
The Philippine economy grew by 7.5 percent in the second quarter of the year—the fourth consecutive three-month period that growth has topped 7 percent.
However, despite the healthy growth in the first quarter, unemployment in the same period reached 7.5 percent, up from 6.9 percent the previous quarter, raising concerns over the inclusiveness of the country’s economic boom.