NEDA alarmed over 'youth inactivity'

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 09 2016 09:03 PM

NEDA alarmed over 'youth inactivity' 1
Reuters photo

MANILA - The National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) is alarmed over "youth inactivity," with over four million of the country's young people either jobless nor in school. 

Outgoing NEDA Director-General and Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Emmanuel Esguerra said he is alarmed "over the economic inactivity of the youth," noting that the youth unemployment rate in April reached 14.6 percent, more than twice the 6.1 percent national unemployment rate. 

NEDA alarmed over 'youth inactivity' 2

He said around 4.7 million Filipinos or 23.8 percent of the young working population "were neither in school nor in the labor force."

Esguerra lamented these Filipinos are "underutilized as their skills are not being honed by education, training or employment."

He said the incoming leadership can address the dismal employment numbers by producing "high quality jobs," as well as loosening foreign investment restrictions. 

"Improving the business climate is key given the need for resiliency and adaptability to changes in the labor market," NEDA added in the statement. 

Esguerra said the Philippines must shift from just looking at job security to income security, which could be achieved by "producing a better trained and agile workforce while exploring more flexible work contracts and unemployment insurance/savings schemes that will support this type of employment."

Esguerra added that a curriculum upgrade is essential for the creation of a "better trained but more flexible workforce​."

The country's unemployment rate rose to 6.1 percent in April from 5.8 percent in January, the Philippines' statistics agency said on Thursday.

The rate is equivalent to 2.6 million unemployed people from 2.5 million in January.

There were 39.9 million people employed in the Philippines as of April, down from the January figure of 40.05 million.

READ: PH jobless rate up 6.1 pct in April