Survey: Q4 job prospects high at 27.4%

By Jun Vallecera, BusinessMirror

Posted at Sep 03 2012 08:19 AM | Updated as of Sep 03 2012 07:27 PM

MANILA, Philippines - Some of the country’s best-known employers look forward to hiring more people in the final three months of the year, particularly the various service companies that include banks and financial institutions, as well as hotels and restaurants, among others.

This optimism was captured in a survey conducted by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) showing the various employers intending to hire more hands in the fourth quarter consistent with expectations the economy could only get better as the year unfolds.

According to the BSP, the employment picture seen in the fourth quarter this year hit an all-time high of 27.4 percent, the highest reading since the survey started in the fourth quarter of 2006.

Apart from financial intermediaries, restaurateurs and hoteliers, those in the transportation and real estate, as well as those in other business activities were found to be most optimistic of their prospects in the waning months of this year.

This development, the BSP said, is one more indicator “supporting expectations of sustained growth momentum in 2012” and comes at a time when the country’s unemployment statistics is quickly approaching the all-time record low of 6.3 percent in October 2007.

Government data show unemployment averaging 6.9 percent as of April this year and likely edging lower still as more and more Filipinos enter the ranks of the gainfully employed.

A survey conducted by the privately owned Social Weather Stations (SWS) showed the ranks of the unemployed dropping from an estimated 13.8 million in the first three months to just 10.9 million in the second quarter.

The unemployed, as the government defines them, are those Filipinos actively looking for employment as percent of the labor force.

Government data show unemployment was highest in April 2002 when this averaged 13.9 percent under then-President Gloria Arroyo who later that year would tell the nation she would no longer seek the highest office of the land at the May 2004 national elections.

It was also during her tenure as President of the Republic that unemployment hit an all-time low of 6.3 percent in October 2007.

Nevertheless, while the outlook on employment in general remains positive, the number of businesses looking to expand edged lower to 27.8 percent, indicative of businessmen with a fair amount of prudence.

The BSP said the lower expansion plans were reported across the sub-sectors except in mining and quarrying, which showed increases.