121,000 workers lost jobs, hit by pay cuts, says Labor

Published by rudy Date posted on March 30, 2009

CLARK FIELD—Over 121,000 Filipino workers have either lost their jobs or suffered pay cuts or reduced work loads because of the economic crisis, according to a Labor Department official.

Between October last year and mid-March, 11,574 permanently lost their jobs and 38,806 others were temporarily laid off, Labor Undersecretary Rosalinda Baldoz said during an economic forum here.

A total of 59,149 others were placed on flexible work arrangements, she added.

About 12,000 of the 8.5 million-strong Filipino work force abroad had also lost their jobs, mostly in Taiwan and the United Arab Emirates, Baldoz said.

Last week, the government said electronics firms based in the Philippines started giving their remaining workers half-pay, or P150 a day, in a bid to keep them employed until demand picked up again.

The labor undersecretary said the electronics sector was the worst hit with almost half the total work force affected.

The crisis had also hit about 10 percent of employees in the automotive, garments, mining, property, services, and woodworking industries, she added.

The government expected the crisis to bottom out over the next few months because only 397 workers a day were losing their jobs in mid-March compared to 437 at the start of the month.

“Before the first semester ends, we could say that the worst is over,” she said.

“In the next five months, workers’ displacements will continue but we expect it to be on a slower pace and only in the export manufacturing sector.” AFP

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