Demand outpacing supply of jobs, admits labor chief | Inquirer News

Demand outpacing supply of jobs, admits labor chief

Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz

MANILA, Philippines—The administration simply cannot keep up with the growing demand for jobs.

This was the straightforward answer given by Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz Thursday for why “jobless growth” has continued to hound the three-year-old Aquino administration.


In a briefing in Malacañang, Baldoz admitted the demand for jobs had overtaken the job creation efforts of the government.


She explained, however, that jobless growth was not an entirely accurate description of the failure of the robust economy since 2010 to create jobs and a stable working environment for the labor force.

She took exception to the media’s use of “jobless growth” to describe the performance of the economy.

Baldoz cited data from the Labor Force Survey of the Philippine Statistics Authority that showed the Aquino administration had created jobs, albeit way short of what was expected of the government by the swelling number of job seekers.

The latest Labor Force Survey was forwarded to her office on Tuesday, Baldoz said.

It listed the government’s job-creation numbers as follows: In 2010, a 2.8-percent increase in employment (974,000 additional jobs); 2011, 3.2 percent (1.157 million); 2012, 1.1 percent (408,000); 2013, 0.8 percent (317,000); and the first quarter of 2014, 0.8 percent (283,000).

Baldoz said the unemployment rate was “steady” but “it continues to be a big challenge to whoever sits in government.”


This, she explained, was “because it’s a draw—two percent enter the (labor) force (annually), two percent (of jobs) are also created annually.”

Underemployment problem

Baldoz also acknowledged the problem of underemployment.

“We have a problem with the unemployed, but we also have a problem with the underemployed because they are employed but are underpaid,” said Baldoz, adding:

“One out of five employed is underemployed, and (the number of) underemployed is twice that of the unemployed. These figures fluctuate on a quarterly basis.”

Baldoz also noted the problem of youth unemployment, which she said was marked by a “very slow school-to-work transition.”

Citing a study by the Asian Development Bank, she said: “It takes one year for a college graduate to find his first job and two years to find a regular job. For high school (graduates), three years to get his first job and four years to find a regular job.”

She said the government was taking into consideration “factors influencing both the length and the quality of the school-to-work transition” such as educational attainment.


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‘Steady’ unemployment a challenge to gov’t – Baldoz

TAGS: Jobs, Labor, Philippines, Unemployment

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