RP employment recovers, but not job quality

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 01 2010 07:04 PM | Updated as of Oct 02 2010 03:05 AM

MANILA, Philippines - Employment in the country has recovered from the global crisis, but the quality of jobs has worsened, said the International Labor Organization (ILO).

Most Asian countries posted positive employment growth between the first quarters of 2009 and 2010, the ILO reported in its new study World of Work Report 2010.

"Employment gains are witnessed in the Philippines at 5%," said Lawrence Jeff Johnson, director of the ILO country office in the Philippines.

However, Johnson noted jobs were created in unregistered establishments, in which workers end up in vulnerable employment due to lack of social dialogue, protection and benefits.

He added that rural migrants in the country have been forced to return to lower productivity work.

"This is a worrying trend because the poor cannot afford to be unemployed so they are willing to take whatever work is available in order to survive."

The ILO believes the "long labor market recession" is worsening the social outlook in many countries worldwide.

It said in Asia, employment recovery has been uneven, with Hong Kong, Japan and Sri Lanka still lagging.

If current policies persist, a recovery in employment to pre-crisis levels will be delayed until 2015 in advanced economies, instead of 2013 as projected a year ago.

At the same time, the ILO said, while employment in the emerging and developing countries has resumed growing, over 8 million new jobs are still needed to return to pre-crisis levels in these countries.

"The longer the labor market recession, the greater the difficulties for job seekers to obtain new employment," the ILO report said.

In the Philippines, the government has placed creating employment opportunities, achieving inclusive growth and reducing poverty central to its national development objective.

President Benigno Aquino has said his administration would prioritize poverty reduction in the country's economic blueprint, the Medium-Term Development Plan, for the years 2011 to 2016.

"Indeed, the country's priority to provide jobs that empower the people and provide them with opportunities to lift themselves and their families out of poverty is an important step to address the rising number of working poor and vulnerable employment," said Johnson.