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Aquino gov't falls short of jobs, spending targets

JOBS NEEDED. While the Philippine economy enjoyed highs in 2012, millions of Filipinos are in search of decent jobs. Photo by AFP. MANILA, Philippines - The Aquino administration has fallen short of its employment generation target of a million per year, while its public spending ratio continued to slide. In the Socioeconomic Report (SER) 2010-2012 released by the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA), the agency said the administration was only able to create an average of 997,000 jobs per year. Its spending, on the other hand, was equivalent to about 12.8% of the country's gross domestic product (GDP) in 2012, lower than the 13.1% recorded in 2011, and 13.6% in 2010. "To catch up with the targets in the PDP [Philippine Development Plan], the government will continue to partner with the private sector in developing the industry and services sector," the SER said. "These strategies must however be founded on good governance, accountability, and transparency which are the overarching framework of the national government," it added.

Poor quality jobs
Apart from the government falling behind its job targets, the NEDA said the "more serious problem" is poor quality jobs seen through the number of underemployed in the country. The NEDA said around one-fifth of all employed Filipinos are looking for better jobs. This means that one in 5 employed Filipinos are looking for longer work hours or additional jobs to make ends meet. "Unlike unemployment which mainly affects the youth and the educated workforce, underemployment cuts across age and sex groups and is particularly pronounced among the less educated workforce and in regions where agriculture is the dominant sector," the report stated. The report added that in July 2012, there were 8.546 million underemployed Filipinos. This was more than thrice the 2.842 million underemployed in July 2011. The NEDA added that the expansion in employment in recent years was accompanied by periods of large increases in part-time employment. The part-time employment rate shot up to 18.4% in April 2012, significantly higher than 7% in January 2011, 5.5% in April 2011, and 11.8% in October 2011. "On the average, part-time employment comprised more than one-third of total employed persons over the last two years," the SER stated. "The labor market during the first two years of the Aquino Administration was marked by improvements in employment generation alongside the declining unemployment rate. However, key weaknesses remained in terms of the high underemployment rate and the rise in part-time employment," it added. EMPLOYMENT AND LABOR RELATIONS

Philippines Table of Contents A high rate of population growth, lack of access to land, insufficient job creation in industry, and a history of inappropriate economic policies contributed to high unemployment and underemployment and a relatively high proportion of the labor force being in low-productivity, service sector jobs in the late 1980s. Real wages were low, having declined at about 3 percent per year since 1960, and relatively weak labor unions were unable to substantially affect the deterioration of workers' earning power.Labor Force and EmploymentPopulation growth averaged 2.9 percent from 1965 to 1980 and 2.5 percent in the late 1980s. While more than 40 percent of the population was below fifteen years of age, the growth of the working-age population--those fifteen years of age and older--was even more rapid than total population growth. In the 1980s, the working-age population grew by 2.7 percent annually. In addition, the labor force participation rate--the proportion of working-age people who were in the labor force--rose approximately 5 percentage points during the 1980s, largely because of the increase in the proportion of women entering the work force. So the actual labor force grew by 750,000 people or approximately 4 percent each year during the 1980s....
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