Robust economic growth failed to lift labor: World Bank

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 17 2016 01:54 PM | Updated as of Jun 18 2016 11:20 PM

Robust economic growth failed to lift labor: World Bank 1

MANILA - Despite leading the developing world, the Philippines’ robust economic growth has failed to lift the labor market where many are trapped in low-paying and unstable jobs, the World Bank said Friday.

“Many workers remain poor,” unable to keep up with rising commodity prices, even as gross domestic product grew at an average 5.3 percent in the last decade, the bank said in a report.

Three quarters of all jobs and two-thirds of jobs in urban areas are “informal,” where workers don’t get social security and other benefits and can dismissed easily, the bank said.

“The scarcity of 'good jobs' reflects the structure of the Philippine economy where low- value-added activities predominate,” the bank said.

“This is partly due to constraints in the investment climate and the high cost of doing business in the formal sector,” it said.

But the Philippines is “well-positioned” to address this challenge by investing more to upgrade workers’ skills and encouraging firms to hire more, it said.

The economy grew 6.9 percent in the first quarter, beating analysts’ forecasts and outpacing China. The government projects growth of 6.8 to 7.8 percent for the full year.

President-elect Rodrigo Duterte, who will assume office on June 30, has promised to stop “contractualization," wherein employees are hired just before they attain regular status, then re-hired again as contractuals, so that their employers can avoid paying benefits mandated by law.