DOLE reports fewer workers sought extra jobs last year

Published by rudy Date posted on January 15, 2009

The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) reported yesterday that fewer workers sought extra jobs last year despite the prevailing global economic crisis.

Records of the DOLE’s Bureau of Labor and Employment Statistics (BLES) showed a remarkable drop in the number of so-called “underemployed” or those who expressed desire for additional jobs to earn extra income in 2008.

Based on the BLES 2008 employment situation review, the underemployed decreased by 183,000 with 6.57 million jobless citizens, compared to the number recorded the year before.

BLES data further revealed that the unemployment rate went up by 0.1 percent to 7.4 percent.

Young workers with ages ranging from 15 to 24 dominated the work force. Nearly two in three unemployed were men and were high school graduates or undergraduates.

Compared to year 2007, 10 regions posted higher unemployment rates led by the National Capital Region (NCR) with a jobless rate of 13 percent.

Other regions that posted higher unemployment were Cordillera Autonomous Region (CAR), Central Luzon, Calabarzon, Cagayan Valley, MIMAROPA, Bicol, Western Visayas, Central Visayas and Eastern Visayas.

Despite the slight increase in the number of unemployed, BLES reported that the quality of employment managed to improve as indicated by the 0.8 percent drop in the underemployed rate.

BLES further stressed that the increase in unemployment was very minimal considering the slowdown in the domestic economy due to increases in the prices of basic goods.

Even with the financial crisis, the country also posted an additional 500,000 employed persons or a 1.6 percent employment growth for the entire year 2008.

Employment growth was recorded in the services sector, agriculture, fishing, and forestry sectors.

The number of persons in full-time employment also went up by 3.9 percent. The number of wage and salary workers also increased. All regions, except Cagayan Valley, posted increased employment.

Meanwhile, displaced overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) can look forward to bright employment opportunities when they return home.

The country’s largest labor group yesterday offered to provide free training and immediate employment for at least 5,000 OFWs who were displaced as a result of the prevailing global economic crisis.

Alex Aguilar, Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (TUCP) spokesman, said the union would prioritize workers returning from abroad in their ongoing training and job placement program.–Mayen Jaymalin, Philippine Star

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