Despite the adverse effects of a global economic slowdown, the country's employment environment continued to be resilient in July 2009, increasing
by 2.6 percent.
"The Philippine labor market remained resilient amidst the global crisis. Employment in July 2009 grew by 2.6 percent, resulting in a total
employment of 35.5 million," National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Acting Director General Augusto B. Santos said in a memorandum to President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.
Santos however added that net employment generated reached only 916,000 during the period, 28.2 percent lower than the 1.3 million net employment
generated in July 2008, as reported by the National Statistics Office.
According to the NEDA chief, "There should be no respite in channeling the government's multi-pronged efforts toward a better quality of the labor force in the midst of early indicators that the global crisis is winding down. The country should be ready for the race to the rebound, where competitiveness matters."
He also said that the generally strong domestic labor market could still be boosted by the continued implementation of the Economic Resiliency Plan
(ERP), the improvement of Philippine competitiveness, and the development of alternative energy and climate change adaptation as potential sources of
The NSO said that the services sector led the growth in employment with a 5.4 percent increase over the level a year ago, an additional 939,000
employment. All services subsectors recorded positive employment generation.
On the other hand, industry generated 137,000 jobs in July 2009, posting a 2.7 growth. Employment generation in construction (128,000) and mining and
quarrying (22,000) boosted employment in the sector. However, employment decreased in manufacturing (-12,000) and utilities (-1000) subsectors.
Employment in agriculture, fishery and forestry sector fell by 1.3 percent, as the planting season generally took a pause due to storms and the
inability of farmers to access private financing for crop expansion and diversification. The fishery subsector, which generated 55,000 jobs,
benefited from the strong demand for cheap but healthy products like sardines, tuna and dilis for the canning business, which also generally
bode well in the halal markets. This however was not enough to offset the 214,000 net employment loss in the agriculture, hunting and forestry
Meanwhile, the unemployment rate for July 2009 slightly increased to 7.6 percent from 7.4 percent in July 2008. The total unemployed persons reached
2.9 million during the period. New labor entrants outnumbered employment generation, as 916,000 net employment generated failed to match the
employment needs of the 1.1 million labor entrants and the unemployed work force.
On the other hand, underemployment in July 2009 decreased to 19.8 percent,approximately 7 million employed persons, compared to 21.1 percent
underemployment rate in July 2008. This is the lowest recorded underemployment rate during the July survey rounds since July 2005. Most of
the visibly underemployed (working less than 40 hours) were working in the agriculture sector (56.5 percent), followed by services (33.3 percent) and
then industry (10.1 percent) sector. The decline in total underemployment mostly came from agriculture, hunting and forestry; manufacturing; hotels
and restaurants; wholesale and retail trade and repair of motor vehicles; and utilities.