Unemployment rate down to 10% by yearend â DOLE
Appearing before the Senate committee on finance to defend DOLE’s proposed P27.5-billion budget for next year, Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said he expects the country’s economic conditions to slowly improve towards the end of this year and in 2021.
Cesar Ramirez, file
Unemployment rate down to 10% by yearend – DOLE
Paolo Romero (The Philippine Star) - October 2, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Unemployment in the country is predicted to ease to a rate of about 10 percent at the end of the year, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) said yesterday.

Appearing before the Senate committee on finance to defend DOLE’s proposed P27.5-billion budget for next year, Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said he expects the country’s economic conditions to slowly improve towards the end of this year and in 2021.

From 17.7-percent unemployment in April, Bello said he sees joblessness to taper off to 10.4 percent in end-2020.

Sen. Joel Villanueva, committee chairman, noted the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) and the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) had a slightly higher projection of 11 percent to 13 percent.

The NEDA also expects unemployment to further go down to 6.5 percent to 7.5 percent in 2021, said the senator.

He said NEDA’s assumptions in its projections are that quarantine measures shall continue to ease and improve gradually, and that a vaccine for the coronavirus disease 2019 would be ready by the second or third quarter of next year.

Labor Undersecretary Dominique Tutay told the panel the DOLE uses “administrative” data whose collection is from the submissions of businesses to the agency while the PSA covers both the formal and informal sector.

The latest PSA data, she said, used a poll of some 48,000 households.

“Our fearless forecast is eight to 10 percent (unemployment). Actually that’s our project for the entire 2020 and (is expected) to go better next year,” Tutay said.

“A number of factors we need to consider is first, the issue of transport, the right easing of quarantine measures, and third, the support to business sector in a form of subsidies,” she said.

Resilient jobs

Meanwhile, Bello said employment opportunities in health care and several other industries in Metro Manila remained bright even in the midst of the pandemic.

The labor chief said skills in health care, logistics, information technology, business process management, education and construction have shown resilience and continue to be in high demand despite the disruption caused by COVID-19.

Bello said the Department of Health (DOH) hired a total of 8,056 individuals to fill 10,693 vacancies for doctors, nurses and other healthcare workers under the emergency hiring program to augment medical frontliners in the battle against COVID-19.

Nurses account for the biggest number of hires by profession at 2,701, followed by medical technologists at 1,356.

“They were deployed in public hospitals, diagnostic facilities, isolation and quarantine sites, local government units, and other hospitals and COVID-19 referral facilities,” Bello said.

In the business process outsourcing (BPO) industry, there are over 10,000 job openings for customer service representatives, technical support staff, frontline/specialists, supervisors, trainers, managers and others for the human resources and recruitment, finance, information technology and marketing sectors.

There is also high demand for workers in the construction sector specifically for heavy equipment operators and safety engineers.

“The government has significant allocation for the Build, Build, Build program of the government in the proposed national budget for 2021, so we could expect more jobs in construction towards the following year,” Bello said.

Demand for on-line instructors is also picking up under the education sector as well as vehicle service drivers due to a switch in consumers’ buying habits during the pandemic. – Mayen Jaymalin

DOLE UNEMPLOYMENT
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