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826,000 new jobs generated in 2018, but below gov't target

Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said at least 826,000 new jobs were generated in 2018, representing a two percent growth in the country's employment rate.

Citing data from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), Bello noted significant improvements in the employment situation last year which registered 41.160 million employed from 40.334 million in the preceding year.

The data on job generation, however, was below the government's annual target of 900,000-1.1 million, the National Economic Development Authority said.

Employment growth in 2018 was most notable in construction with over 328,000; public administration and defense, compulsory social security at 152,000; manufacturing with 145,000; and administrative and support service activities at over 110,000, PSA data showed.

However, the government statistical agency also reported that the agriculture sector suffered the heaviest employment loss for the past two years at 803,000 in 2017 and 260,000 last year due to several typhoons that hit the country.

Employment in the services sector also registered a decline of 72,000 jobs in 2017 due to stricter enforcement of DOLE policy on the prohibition of illegal end-of-contract or “endo.”

The prohibition on "endo" is contained in Department Order No. 174, series of 2017.

Meanwhile, employment in the sector surged to 610,000 last year.

“We remain steadfast in promoting gainful employment opportunities and ensuring that workers’ rights and welfare are protected,” Bello said.

The Labor chief added that close to half a million workers employed under the “endo” scheme had been regularized by the end of 2018, with the employers’ voluntary compliance being a major factor, accounting for more than 65 percent of those regularized employees.

Bello said he expects employment in industries to continue improving with the government’s  infrastructure-based Build, Build, Build program.

The Labor Force Survey defines employed persons as those 15 years old and over who during the reference period were reported
at work even for an hour.

Also included in this definition are: Persons with a job/business even though not at work because of temporary illness/injury, vacation or other leave of absence, bad weather or strike/labor dispute or other reasons.

Likewise, persons who are expected to report for work or to start operation of a farm or business enterprise within two weeks from the date of the enumerator’s visit are considered employed (future starts). —LDF, GMA News