EDITORIAL - Confronting unemployment

The Philippine Star
EDITORIAL - Confronting unemployment

Despite the easing of COVID-19 restrictions to allow the resumption of more economic activities, the pandemic continues to wreak havoc on livelihoods. Between August and September, the ranks of the unemployed in the country grew from 3.88 million to 4.25 million. The 8.9 percent unemployment rate was the highest since January this year, according to the Philippine Statistics Authority.

The PSA, in a report released last week, also placed the underemployment rate at 14.2 percent in September, accounting for 6.18 million underemployed out of 43.59 million employed people. It was the same underemployment rate recorded in June this year.

Agriculture and forestry recorded the highest employment reductions in September, with 862,000 jobs lost. The manufacturing sector followed, shedding 343,000 jobs; information and communications, 126,000; mining and quarrying, 75,000, and real estate, 69,000.

As economies gradually recover from the pandemic, there is stiff competition for job-generating investments. Analysts, however, say the Philippines is falling behind its neighbors in investment competitiveness, and see the country as a regional laggard in pandemic recovery.

Last month, think tank Oxford Economics ranked the Philippines 13th out of 14 Asia-Pacific economies in terms of attractiveness for foreign direct investment. China, Vietnam and Malaysia were ranked as the most attractive for FDI. The think tank forecasts deep economic scarring in the Philippines from the pandemic.

Rankings can improve, and the Philippines can take cues for reforms from the areas where it received low marks in the Oxford Economics scorecard. The country garnered negative scores in the categories of infrastructure and logistics, political and business climate as well as market size and potential. On the other hand, the country had positive scores in export structure and labor dynamics.

Even before COVID-19 struck, the Philippines was already lagging in the region as an investment destination. The country has registered improvements in ease of doing business, but its neighbors continue to do better in attracting FDI and creating decent jobs. With the pandemic devastating livelihoods, the Philippines will have to do more to create a sustainable and attractive environment for business and employment generation.

vuukle comment



  • Latest
  • Trending
Are you sure you want to log out?

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

Get Updated:

Signup for the News Round now

or sign in with