ECOP sees PH jobs situation improving in 2023
An employers’ group is seeing better prospects for the country’s workers in 2023, pinning their hopes that global headwinds which affected industries, and hence the job market, will abate next year.
Employers Confederation of the Philippines (ECOP) president Sergio Ortiz-Luis Jr. expressed this sentiment to reporters on the sidelines of the National Export Congress in Pasay City earlier this week when asked if they see the employment situation improving in the country.
“Yes, we have no way to go but to [get] better. The problem is that [the improvement] is slow. It’s not at a pace that we would like to see,” the ECOP official said.
Ortiz-Luis Jr. said that, compared to other Asian countries, the Philippines was a slightly late in easing the health curbs implemented by the government due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We were still talking about face mask mandates while other [countries] have already eased up,” he said.
The ECOP chief added that they also see the dire effects of the conflict between Russia and Ukraine somewhat waning next year, bringing hope to economies and industries that have lost or cut jobs because of that.
“I think there are backdoor talks already happening in the military. They have also pulled back on using harsh words towards each other,” he added.
Improving employment rate
Back in October, the Philippines recorded its 14 month of declining unemployment rates, except for May and June, when it stayed at the same level of 6 percent.
The October figure puts the number of unemployed people in the country to 2.24 million, with 1.26 million people escaping joblessness compared to the same month in 2021 according to the preliminary results of the Philippine Statistics Authority’s (PSA) latest labor force survey.
The PSA data showed that the unemployment rate eased to 4.5 percent in October, lower than the 7.4 percent in the same month last year, and also the 5 percent in September.
The Philippines last experienced this same level of unemployment rate back in October of 2019.
Meanwhile, the employment rate in October also rose to 95.5 percent—up slightly from the 95 percent in the previous month—which was the highest rate recorded since January of 2020.
The number of underemployed persons, or employed persons who expressed the desire to have additional work hours in their present job or to have an additional job, was at 6.67 million, indicating an underemployment rate of 14.2 percent.
This was lower than the 16.1 percent in October last year and 15.4 percent last September.