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Government promises to maintain labor market gains

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The unemployment rate fell to 5% in September, the lowest level since the start of the pandemic, and the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) praised the improvements in the labor market.

“The results of a recent survey demonstrate the benefits of our economy’s complete openness. The government will take advantage of this momentum by stepping up policy interventions and funding innovative and technological systems designed to produce higher-quality employment that offers sufficient income for Filipino workers and their families, “Arsenio Balisacan, the secretary of socioeconomic planning, stated in a statement on Tuesday.

According to the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), the unemployment rate decreased from 5.3 percent in August to 4.9 percent in September 2022.

PSA Undersecretary Dennis Mapa also pointed out that the unemployment rate in September 2022 is the lowest it has been since the proportion of unemployed Filipinos peaked at 17.6 percent in April 2020, when the pandemic was at its worst.

In response to the difficulties brought on by a higher inflation rate, Balisacan stated that the government prioritizes food security-related interventions as well as targeted subsidies for fuel and crops “to help protect the purchasing power of Filipinos and reduce the incidence of invisible underemployment among low-income households.”

The head of NEDA also underlined the necessity of continuing emergency employment initiatives and other types of help to provide urgent assistance to individuals who were severely affected by disasters.

“We need to step up our catastrophe resilience and climate adaption strategies,” he said, “since we are expecting La Nia and close to above-normal rainfall conditions in the next months.”

According to Balisacan, if the national budget for 2023 is passed on time, the administration will be able to carry out its plans for the coming year, particularly the infrastructure projects that would create jobs.

He continued by saying that the country’s new economic strategy would aid in the creation of long-term, high-quality jobs for Filipinos.

In order to create a more effective labor market, Balisacan said, “we aim to strategize for a more efficient labor market by improving the quality of education, providing opportunities for lifelong learning, skills development, and options to obtain micro-credentials, enhancing job facilitation programs, and strengthening links among industry, business, and training institutions.”

More programs for skill development

The government continues to offer training and other initiatives, according to the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), which will help people improve their skill sets.

In a statement to reporters, Labor Secretary Bienvenido Laguesma said, “Skills training and skills upgrading through Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) are tactics and actions that we do to help address underemployment.”

The PSA also revealed that the country’s underemployment rate is 15.4% percent, or 7.33 million Filipinos, up from August’s 14.7 percent, according to the labor chief’s comments.

“DOLE efforts that can also be helpful include effective job facilitation and accurate and reliable labor market information,” he continued.

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